No further investigation into crane rental company
14 mei 2013 - Landelijk Parket
The Netherlands National Prosecutor's Office will not prosecute a rental company in cranes and aerial work platforms and its managing directors for involvement in the construction of the Israeli barrier and an industrial area nearby a settlement on the West Bank.
Criminal complaints were filed against the company Lima Holding B.V. - known in the Netherlands by its commercial name Riwal - for war crimes pursuant to the Geneva Conventions and the International Crimes Act, among others by the human rights organisation Al Haq.
The criminal investigation that followed included, among other things, searches on different locations. From this investigation, it has become clear that the company has rented out cranes and aerial working platforms that were used for construction works in the occupied territory. The building of the barrier in occupied territory has been considered a violation of International Humanitarian Law by the International Court of Justice and others.
Dutch companies are required to refrain from any involvement in violations of the International Crimes Act or the Geneva Conventions. In 2006 and 2007, the company concerned has already been called to account regarding this matter by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Economic Affairs.
The question whether the above-mentioned activities constitute such a violation is complex and cannot be answered with certainty without further investigation. Such further investigation will not be carried out, now that it has been shown that the company Lima Holding B.V., after the criminal complaint was filed, is ending its activities in Israel and the Occupied Territories and has already made major steps to that effect.
One of the considerations in the Public Prosecutor's Office's decision to discontinue proceedings is that Lima only contributed on a small scale to the building of the barrier and settlements. Cranes and aerial working platforms have been used only occasionally and only for a few days, sometimes after having been rented to third parties.
Both the complainants and the company and its managing directors have been informed today by the Public Prosecutor's Office on the decision to discontinue proceedings.