The Court of First Instance of The Hague has delivered a judgment yesterday allowing the extradition of a 52 year old resident from Heuven to Bosnia. A few weeks ago the Court allowed the extradition of a 46 year old resident from The Hague to Georgia and the extradition of a 43 year old resident from Spijkenisse to Bosnia. All three men are suspected of involvement in International Crimes.
Homes set ablaze
The resident of Heumen is suspected of having committed war crimes as part of an armed group during the Balkan wars in 1992. With other armed men, he is alleged to be responsible for the death of an inhabitant of the Bosnian village Beslagici. According to the extradition-request, they fired their weapons at the man’s house and killed him. From a nearby house, a mother and her daughter escaped by fleeing through the window. Both homes were subsequently set ablaze.
Bosnian camp commander
The man from Spijkenisse is a 43 year old Bosnian national. According to the request for extradition, he was the commander of a camp in the Derventa region where civilians of Serbian ethnicity were detained in a school building in June 1992. He was part of the 103rd brigade of the Bosnian-Croat Army (HVO).
Killings and Torture
The man was allegedly involved in murder, torture and psychological as well as physical abuse of civilians. One prisoner was allegedly shot by the commander with an automatic rifle after having been accused of attempted escape. The other prisoners were forced to look at his dead body. Subsequently, another prisoner was severely kicked en beaten, after which the commander allegedly pushed the barrel of his rifle in a man’s mouth and fired several shots.
Georgian request for extradition
According to the Georgian extradition request received by the Netherlands National Prosecutor’s Office, the resident from the Hague, together with others, ambushed and killed three prisoners early 2006, according to a pre-arranged plan, which has now become known as Navtlugh Special Operation. The then Head of the Georgian Penitentiary Department allegedly arranged for the operation because the three prisoners had made plans to escape.
The 46 year old Georgian is also accused of having ordered the torture of a prisoner in 2011, when he held a different post with a Security Unit of the Georgian Ministry of Defence.
Investigation and prosecution
Point of departure for the Netherlands Prosecutor’s Office 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.