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International crimes cases

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Pending cases

The following cases are pending at the Court of First Instance in The Hague.

 

Pending cases at the Court of First Instance

Investigation Banning

In November 2022, a group of women were repatriated by the Dutch government from a camp in Syria. The women were detained upon arrival on suspicion of terrorist crimes. The suspect in this case is additionally suspected of the crime against humanity slavery and abandonment of a helpless person. The investigation into the facts is ongoing. The next pro forma hearing will take place on June 4, 2024.

Investigation Lech
A 37-year-old man was arrested in January 2023 on suspicion of participating in the terrorist organizations IS and Jabhat al-Nusra. The man allegedly held a leadership role in IS's security service. He is suspected of participation in a terrorist organization and participation in a criminal organization aimed at committing international crimes. The investigation before the investigating judge ongoing. The next pro forma hearing will take place on June 4, 2024.

Investigation Forney
A 55-year-old man was arrested in October 2021 on suspicion of war crimes committed during the Interior War in Suriname. The investigation into the offenses is ongoing.

Investigation Shildon
The investigation focuses on a 55-year old man who allegedly served as a head of the interrogation unit of the National Defense Force (NDF), a Syrian pro-regime militia, in 2013 and 2014. He is suspected of, while acting in that capacity, committing torture and the crimes against humanity of torture, sexual violence and rape. The investigation to the facts is ongoing. The next pro forma hearing will take place on June 18, 2024.

Investigation Ardech
A 67-year-old man was arrested in October 2023 on suspicion of (co-) perpetrating genocide against the Tutsi people in April 1994 in the Mugina municipality, Rwanda. The investigation into the facts is ongoing.

Investigation Desoto
A 64-year-old man was arrested in February 2024 on suspicion of involvement in an attack and looting in Gatobotobo, Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi’s and moderate Hutus. The investigation into the facts is ongoing.

Pending cases in appeal at the Appellate Court of The Hague

Humble
On June 29, 2021, the District Court of The Hague pronounced a verdict (ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:10538) in the case Humble, in which a Dutch woman was convicted of, among other charges, participating in a criminal organization, ISIS, with the intention of committing war crimes, incitement to commit a terrorist offense, and the war crime of violating personal dignity. The woman was sentenced to six years in prison, and the court ordered her placement in psychiatric care with mandatory treatment. An appeal has been filed against this verdict.  The substantive hearing at the Court of Appeal will take place on 29 and 30 April 2024.

Chevron
On April 14, 2022, the District Court of The Hague sentenced Abdulrazaq R. to 12 years in prison for war crimes committed in the period 1983-1987 at the Pul-e-Charki prison in Afghanistan. The court found R. guilty of arbitrary deprivation of liberty and cruel and inhuman treatment, as well as violating the personal dignity of at least 18 detainees. An appeal has been filed against the verdict (ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:4976).  The substantive hearing will take  place in April 2024.

Vescher
On January 22, 2024, the District Court of The Hague sentenced Mustafa A. to 12 yeas in prison. The court found A. guilty of complicity in illegal arrest as a crime against humanity of victim 1, as well as complicity in the subsequent torture and torture (as a crime against humanity). In addition, A. was convicted of participation in the Liwa al-Quds criminal organization, which aims to commit war crimes (looting and physical assault) and crimes against humanity (arbitrary deprivation of liberty). The court reached an acquittal for torture, torture as a crime against humanity and illegal arrest of Victim 2 because, in the court's view, it was not established that A. was involved. The verdict has been appealed. The pre-trial hearing will take place on August 15, 2024. 

Pending cases before the Supreme Court

Clermond
In the Clermond investigation, cassation has been filed against the December 6, 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal of The Hague (ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2022:2421). The Court of Appeal sentenced Ahmad A. to a prison term of 5 years and 4 months. The Court of Appeal declared proven that A. had participated in an organization namely Ahrar al-Sham with the aim of committing terrorist crimes. Unlike the District Court of The Hague (ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:3998) earlier, the Court of Appeal acquitted the accused of Article 6(1)(c) WIM, assault on personal dignity. The judgment was appealed in cassation.

Blackwell
On 22 November, 2023 an appeal in cassation has been lodged against the November 14, 2023 judgment of the Court of Appeal of The Hague (no English translation available at this time). The Court of Appeal sentenced the 52-year-old Syrian man to 23 years and 6 months in prison. The man, along with other combatants, executed a captured soldier of the Syrian Armed Forces in 2012. In addition, the Court proved that the man was the leader of a terrorist organization in 2012. The District Court of The Hague previously acquitted the defendant with respect to participation in a terrorist organization and sentenced the defendant to imprisonment for 20 years. 

 English translations of prior cases adjudicated by the District Court of the Hague by country

>Alles uitklappen
  • Hesamuddin A. - war crimes and torture

    H. was a high-ranking Afghan army general during the communist regime, serving as head of the military intelligence service and state secretary of the Ministry of State Security. He sought asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, but his application was rejected under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention due to suspected involvement in torture and war crimes. He was convicted of torture and the war crime of torture by the Court of Appeal in The Hague and sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. This verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in 2008.
    The District Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2005:AV1163
    Court of Appeals: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2007:AZ9365
    Supreme Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:HR:2008:BG1477

    Habibullah J. – war crimes and torture

    J. served as the head of the interrogation department of the military intelligence service KhaD-e-Nezami under H.'s command from 1979 to 1989. In 1996, he sought asylum in the Netherlands, but his application was declined based on Article 1F of the Refugee Convention due to alleged involvement in war crimes. The Court of Appeal in The Hague found J. guilty of the war crime of torture and sentenced him to nine years' imprisonment. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld this judgment in 2008.
    The District Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2005:AV1489
    Court of Appeals: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2007:AZ9366
    Supreme Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:HR:2008:BG1477

    Abdullah F. – torture

    F. held the position of director of Department 2 within the Military Affairs Division of KhaD-e-Nezami. Subsequently, he was appointed as the governor of Kunduz province. Seeking asylum in the Netherlands in 1994, his application was denied under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention due to strong suspicions of his involvement in prisoner torture and permitting his subordinates to do so. In 2006, F. was arrested, yet he was acquitted of the charges related to prisoner torture and responsibility for subordinates' actions. This acquittal was upheld by the Court of Appeal in The Hague and confirmed by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in 2011. Unfortunately, there is no English translation available of the judgment by the Supreme Court.
    The District Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2007:BA9575
    Court of Appeals: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2009:BK8758

  • Senad A. – extradition for war crimes

    On March 13, 2007, the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina requested the extradition of Senad A. from the Netherlands for prosecution in Bosnia and Herzegovina for war crimes. A. was suspected by Bosnian authorities of having killed a prisoner of war while serving as a member of the so-called 'People's Defense of the Autonomous Province' during the 1993 war. On April 22, 2010, the District Court of The Hague declared A.'s extradition permissible. A. was subsequently sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment in Bosnia.

    https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2009:BQ4586

  • Sébastien N. – torture

    Sébastien N., once commander of the Garde Civile under Mobutu's regime, sought asylum in the Netherlands in 1998, but this was denied under Article 1F of the Convention on the Status of Refugees due to suspicions of his involvement in torture. Following receipt of the 1F file, a criminal inquiry began. Arrested on September 26, 2003, N. was found guilty on April 7, 2004, by the Rotterdam District Court for his role in torture during 1996, resulting in a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

    https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBROT:2004:AO7287

  • Eshetu A.- war crimes

    On December 15, 2017, the District Court of The Hague sentenced Eshetu A. to life imprisonment. The court found A. guilty of violating international humanitarian law, including arbitrary deprivation of liberty, cruel and inhuman treatment of hundreds of individuals, and torture and killing of 75 persons. These crimes took place during the period of 'Red Terror' in Ethiopia in 1978 and the subsequent years. A. committed these crimes in his capacity as a representative of the Derg regime during the civil war that occurred between the military regime of the Derg and various opposition groups. This conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

    The District Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2017:16383
    Court of Appeal: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2022:1674

  • Guus K. - war crimes and violation of the UN arms embargo

    Guus K. was suspected of involvement in international arms trade and participation in war crimes committed by Liberian forces or militias during the civil war in Liberia. In the first instance, K. was convicted for violating the UN-imposed sanctions legislation but acquitted of involvement in war crimes. On appeal, K. was acquitted of all charges by the Court of Appeals in The Hague. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals' verdict and referred the case to the Court of Appeals in 's-Hertogenbosch. The Court of Appeals in 's-Hertogenbosch found K. guilty of complicity in war crimes committed by the forces of Charles Taylor, as well as of violating the UN arms embargo. K. was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

    Judgment of the District Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2006:AY5160
    The Hague Court of Appeals: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2008:BC7373
    's Hertogenbosch Court of Appeals: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:2650
    Supreme Court: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:HR:2018:2349

  • Pierre Klaver K. – extradition for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity

    Extradition request of the authorities of Rwanda for extradition of a wanted person for the purpose of prosecution for the involvement in the genocide in Rwanda. The District Court of The Hague declared the extradition inadmissible due to the risk of a flagrant denial of justice. The Public Prosecutor's Office filed an appeal in cassation against the verdict. On June 6, 2023, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, stating that the District Court's judgment was not based on an incorrect legal interpretation and was adequately reasoned. Unfortunately, there is no English translation available of the judgment by the Supreme Court.

    https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12271

  • Thiruna E., Joseph M.J., Srirangan R., Ramachandran S., and Lingaratnam T. - participation in a criminal organization with a terrorist intent, war crimes, and crimes against humanity

    In this case, the accused were sentenced by the District Court of The Hague to prison terms of 5 and 6 years for participating in a criminal organization with a terrorist intent (LTTE - the organization of the Tamil Tigers). The LTTE's intent was also directed towards committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, among other objectives. On appeal, one of the accused was sentenced to a prison term of 4 years and 11 months. During the cassation procedure, the issue arose as to whether the accused, as members of the LTTE, could claim the status of 'combatant'. In such a case, they would have had the right to participate in the armed conflict against the state of Sri Lanka in the struggle for an independent Tamil state. The Supreme Court considered that the accused could not claim this combatant status as it is only granted to armed forces participating in an international armed conflict. The conflict in which the accused were involved in this case was classified as a non-international armed conflict. Unfortunately, there is no English translation available of the judgment by the Supreme Court.

    https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2011:BU7200

  • Oussama A. - participation in a terrorist organization and war crimes

    On July 23, 2019, Oussama A. was sentenced in first instance to a prison term of 7 years and six months for participating in the terrorist organization Islamic State, preparing acts of terrorism, and committing the war crime of violating personal dignity. On appeal, the Court of Appeal in The Hague sentenced A. to a prison term of 6.5 years.

    ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2019:10647

    Mustafa A. – illegal arrest and torture

    On January 22, 2024 Mustafa A. was sentenced to 12 yeas in prison by the Dutch District Court of The Hague.  A. was found guilty of complicity in illegal arrest as a crime against humanity of victim 1, as well as complicity in the subsequent torture and torture (as a crime against humanity). In addition, A. was convicted of participation in the Liwa al-Quds criminal organization, which aims to commit war crimes (looting and physical assault) and crimes against humanity (arbitrary deprivation of liberty). The verdict has been appealed. The pre-trial hearing will take place on August 15, 2024.

    ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2024:5142

For the full list of adjudicated cases see: Zaken internationale misdrijven (in Dutch)