The man in charge of Dutch troops during the Srebrenica massacre during the Yugoslavian civil war will not face charges of facilitating genocide and war crimes, the public prosecution department said on Thursday.
Thom Karremans was head of the Dutch armed forces who were protecting the enclave of Srebrenica from Bosnian Serbs during the civil war. Over 8,000 men and boys were murdered and buried in mass graves when the enclave was over-run.
‘The public prosecution department has concluded that Karremans … was not criminally involved in the crimes committed by the Bosnia Serb army,’ the department said in a statement.
Relatives of three men killed by the Bosnian Serbs had called on Karremans and two other military leaders to face charges in connection with the deaths.
Interpreter Hasan Nuhanovic and the descendents of electrician Rizo Mustafic say Dutch soldiers serving under the UN flag in the Muslim enclave did not do all they could to protect their relatives from the Bosnian Serb army.
They argue the Dutch army should not have sent the electrician and the brother of the interpreter out of the compound and should also have prevented the interpreter’s father following his son. All three men were later killed.
In 2011, the appeal court in The Hague ruled the Dutch state can be held responsible for the deaths of the three men. That decision cleared the way for Karreman’s potential prosecution.
The relatives now plan to use a different legal route in an effort to force a prosecution, RTL news said.
Dutch state can be held responsible for Srebrenica deaths
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