War Crimes suspect extradited to Bosnia
A 45 year-old suspect of War Crimes committed in the Balkans in the 1990s was extradited to Bosnia on Monday. The Bosnian national who was a resident of the Dutch town of Spijkenisse, had been in extradition detention since his arrest by the International Crimes Unit of the Netherlands National Police.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee at Schiphol Airport has handend the alleged War Criminal over to two Officers of the Bosnian Police on Monday. They escorted him on his flight to Sarajevo where he will stand trial for War Crimes, committed in the Bosnian War (1992-1995).
According to the extradition request made by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Netherlands National Prosecutor’s Office, the Dutch resident was the commander of a camp in Derventa in June 1992. Under his command, civilians of Serbian ethnicity were allegedly held there in a school building. He was part of the 103 brigade of the Bosnian-Croatian Army (HVO).
Double Murder and Torture
The former solder will face trial in Bosnia for the murder of two persons, for torture and for plundering the belongings of prisoners. They were allegedly forced to hand over their valuables, such as money, gold and watches. Prisoners are also believed to have been kicked with military boots and beaten with rifle buts.
The alleged former camp commander is also suspected of having shot a prisoner who attempted to escape and to have forced other prisoners to look at his corpse. The commander is also stated to have forced the barrel of a rifle into the mouth of a prisoner after which he fired the weapon.
Investigation and Prosecution
The Netherlands are committed to not being a safe haven for war criminals and to the fight against impunity for international crimes. Therefore, the Netherlands International Crimes Unit is dedicated making sure war criminals are found and prosecuted, even if this may sometimes take years.
For The Netherlands, the point of departure is that, if possible, the investigation and prosecution of International Crimes should take place in the State where the crimes were committed. This is where the evidence is, where legal professionals are best acquainted with the language, culture and backgrounds of the events and where usually most victims and relatives reside.