Bosnia and Herzegovina
Until April 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the Republic of Yugoslavia. Civil war broke out on 6 April 1992, in the wake of a referendum on independence. Three parties were involved in the conflict: Bosnian Croatians, Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks), and Bosnian Serbs. All parties were guilty of a range of crimes in the course of the conflict. The signing of the Dayton Agreement in November 1995 finally brought the conflict to a close.
Case against Darco K.
K., a member of the Bosnian-Serbian militia, was alleged to have killed two Muslims in the Prijedor area of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 1992. In addition, he was accused of involvement in the deportation of Muslims to a prison camp and of the attempted rape of two women. K. applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 1996, but at that stage it was unclear whether the Dutch Wartime Offences Act could be applied to offences committed during a war in which the Netherlands had not been involved. In 1997, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled that the Netherlands had worldwide jurisdiction in cases of war crimes. K. had already left the country by the time the Supreme Court reached this judgment, and therefore was not prosecuted.
Arnhem District Court, 21 February 1996, 05/078505-95
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 22 October 1996, NJ 1998/462
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 11 November 1997, NJ 1998/463
Case against Senad A.
On 13 March 2007, the Netherlands received a request from Bosnia-Herzegovina for the extradition of Senad A, who was wanted for prosecution for involvement in war crimes. A., a member of the ‘People's Defence Force of the Autonomous Province', was suspected of killing a prisoner of war in Velika Kladusa in 1993.
On 22 April 2010, after preliminary relief proceedings, it was decided that the extradition of Senad A. to Bosnia and Herzegovina was lawful. In Bosnia-Herzegovina he was sentenced in May 2011 to eight years' imprisonment. In November 2011, this conviction was confirmed by the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Hague District Court, 22 April 2010, ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2010:BM2047
Case against Damir L.
In 2014 the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) requested the extradition of Damir L. L. is accused of committing war crimes in BiH in 1992. As camp commander in the region of Derventa, L. is suspected of torturing civilians and killing two detainees. L. was arrested in May 2014.
On 5 November 2014, the district court of The Hague has decided that extradition is permissible. L. appealed to the decision. The supreme court of the Netherlands has dismissed the appeal on 30 June 2015.
The Minister of Safety and Justice has allowed the extradition of L. on 23 September 2015. L. was extradited to BiH on 4 November 2015 and was convicted to a 7-years prison sentence for committing war crimes.
The Hague District Court, 5 November 2014, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2014:17275
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 30 June 2015, ECLI:NL:HR:2015:1760
Case against Fekrit H.
In 2014 the authorities of Bosnia and Herzergovina requested the extradition of Fekrit H., who was suspected of having committed war crimes during the armed conflict of 1992. As a member of a paramilitary group he had allegedly surrounded and shot the houses of his victims, thereby killing one. He then allegedly set the houses on fire.
On 24 November 2014 The Hague District Court decided that the extradition of Fekrit H. was lawful. H. appealed to that decision, but later revoked his appeal. At his request, though, experts were questioned about H.’s psychological state, who suffered from PTSD. After these experts concluded that the psychological state of H. did not prevent him from being extradited, the Minister approved extradition in 2016.
H. then filed for summary proceedings. On 17 March 2016 The Hague District Court concluded that the State had not sufficiently rebutted H.’s argument that because of his mental health he should not be allowed to be extradited. For that reason the State was prohibited to proceed with the extradition of Fekrit H. to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Hague District Court, 24 November 2014, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2014:17276
The Hague District Court, 24 November 2014, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2014:17277 (advise)
The Hague District Court, 17 March 2016, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2016:2870 (summary proceedings)