Selection of cases

Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Executions by State during ending of train hijacking at 'De Punt' in 1977




On 4 November 2016, the court hearing was held at the District Court of The Hague against the State of the Netherlands regarding the ‘Moluccan train hostage crisis’ that took place near De Punt in the Dutch province Drenthe in the summer of 1977. The train siege was ended by force on 11 June 1977 by a large-scale military operation under the code name ‘Mercedes’. Within the context of this operation, two hostages and six of the nine hijackers were killed. Documents that became available to the surviving relatives at the end of 2013 reveal that hijackers Hansina Uktolseja and Max Papilaja were executed by marines who entered the train.
Plaintiffs in these court proceedings against the Dutch State are Max Papilaja’s mother and two of Hansina Uktolseja’s brothers. It is to be noted upfront that they are not using this case to justify the hijacking of the train in and of itself. For them, the point of the procedure is to find out the truth about what happened to their son and sister. All the more so because it has become clear that the State of the Netherlands kept a lot of information about ‘Operation Mercedes’ and the death of the hijackers hidden in the years after 1977, both from the surviving relatives and from the Dutch people.
 
The court is to issue its judgment on 27 January 2017.
 

FIFA case

FIFA summoned to court for human and labour rights violations connected to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar

FIFA summoned to court for human and labour rights violations connected to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar

On 8 December 2016, FIFA was summoned to appear in the commercial court in Zürich, in Switzerland. In addition to the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) and former migrant worker Nadim Alam, two Bangladeshi Unions have joined the case as plaintiffs: Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) and Bangladesh Building and Wood Workers Federation (BBWWF).
The Swiss court is asked to rule that FIFA acted wrongfully by selecting Qatar for the World Cup 2022 without demanding the assurance that Qatar observes fundamental human and labour rights of migrant construction workers, including the abolition of the Kafala system. The Swiss court is furthermore requested to rule that, in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, FIFA ensures that the rights of migrant construction workers are safeguarded, by insisting on adequate and effective labour reforms in Qatar, that are actually implemented.
The Bangladeshi Unions BFTUC and BBWWF have decided to join the case as many of their members left Bangladesh to work in Qatar. These unions are actively engaged with issues pertaining to the rights of migrant workers and in the global fight for the protection of the rights of migrant workers in Middle East, specifically Qatar.
The Swiss court will first decide whether the formalities have been fulfilled. After, FIFA will be allowed to respond in writing to the summons.
 
Background
On 10 October FIFA was informed of the claim. By writing of 20 October and 16 November FIFA rejected all allegations and explained its efforts to address human rights risks linked to the World Cup in Qatar. FIFA’s letter can be read on FNV’s website: https://www.fnv.nl/. Plaintiffs find that FIFA still fails to adequately respond to the abuse of migrant workers connected to its men tournament 2022.

James M. Dorsey, 'Trade unions challenge FIFA and Qatar World Cup in Swiss Court', blog, Middle East Soccer | 8 December 2016

O. Gibson, 'Fifa faces legal challenge over Qatar migrant workers',
The Guardian | 10 October 2016



Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Train hijacking De Punt: Next-of-kin hold Dutch State liable for the execution of their relatives

Today, lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg summoned the Dutch State before the District Court of The Hague on behalf of the relatives of two hijackers who were shot dead when the hijacking of a train near the town De Punt (Drenthe) was ended by force on 11 June 1977. Zegveld and Vossenberg claim that there is sufficient proof that Max Papilaja and Hansina Uktolseja were unnecessarily and thus illegally killed. Evidence shows that that the hijackers were shot at close distance by marines who entered the train, while they were already defenceless and could also have been arrested. In addition, the lawyers claim that the marines used Hollow Point 5 bullets, a type of ammunition that is prohibited by the laws of war. The Dutch State is summoned to appear before the Court in The Hague on 23 December 2015.

Background
In the morning of 23 May 1977, nine young Moluccans hijacked an intercity train near the town De Punt to address their struggle for an independent Moluccan state. The train hijacking was ended by force on 11 June 1977, killing six of the nine hijackers and two hostages, and (gravely) wounding others. In his report to parliament, the then Minister of Justice, Dries Van Agt, stated that ‘controlled force’ had been used. The government closed the file within two weeks, on 23 June 1977. Only recently disclosed documents contradict the conclusion of ‘controlled force’. In response to parliamentary questions late 2013, the Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, ordered an archival investigation into ‘De Punt’, the conclusions of which were published on 19 November 2014. The Dutch State denies all liability.    

Writ of summons, 7 December 2015 (in Dutch).
Radio Interview, BNR Radio, 7 December 2015 (in Dutch).

Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Executions by State during ending of train hijacking at 'De Punt' in 1977

Executions by State during ending of train hijacking at 'De Punt' in 1977

On 4 November 2016, the court hearing was held at the District Court of The Hague against the State of the Netherlands regarding the ‘Moluccan train hostage crisis’ that took place near De Punt in the Dutch province Drenthe in the summer of 1977. The train siege was ended by force on 11 June 1977 by a large-scale military operation under the code name ‘Mercedes’. Within the context of this operation, two hostages and six of the nine hijackers were killed. Documents that became available to the surviving relatives at the end of 2013 reveal that hijackers Hansina Uktolseja and Max Papilaja were executed by marines who entered the train.
Plaintiffs in these court proceedings against the Dutch State are Max Papilaja’s mother and two of Hansina Uktolseja’s brothers. It is to be noted upfront that they are not using this case to justify the hijacking of the train in and of itself. For them, the point of the procedure is to find out the truth about what happened to their son and sister. All the more so because it has become clear that the State of the Netherlands kept a lot of information about ‘Operation Mercedes’ and the death of the hijackers hidden in the years after 1977, both from the surviving relatives and from the Dutch people.
 
The court is to issue its judgment on 27 January 2017.
 
Landsadvocaat: 'Er zijn geen treinkapers geëxecuteerd' via @volkskrant

Victims of Srebrenica vs the Dutch State

ECHR-complaint against decision not to prosecute Karremans c.s.

Lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Tomasz Kodrzycki have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the surviving relatives of three Muslim men who were killed by the Bosnian-Serb army after the fall of the Srebrenica-enclave. The complaint is summarized as follows:

"The refusal properly to investigate, under criminal law, the involvement of Karremans c.s. in the deaths of the applicants’ family members in Srebrenica in 1995 with a view to prosecuting them for these crimes, constitutes a violation of Article 2 of the Convention (the right to life), in particular the duty duly to investigate fatal incidents by carrying out an independent and effective investigation."

Read the full summary here.

Indonesian war widows

Netherlands liable for rape of woman in Dutch East-Indies; State must allow investigation in Dutch National Archives

Netherlands liable for rape of woman in Dutch East-Indies; State must allow investigation in Dutch National Archives foto ©Al Jazeera

On 27 January 2016, the District Court in the Hague held that a then 18-year old Indonesian woman who was gang-raped by five Dutch soldiers during the purging of the Javanese village Peniwen on 19 February 1949 is entitled to €7,500 in immaterial damages. Just like in the cases concerning the summary executions, the District Court has rejected the State’s argument that the claim in the rape case was time-barred.

The District Court also appointed an expert in cases concerning the widows and the children of men who were summarily executed by the Dutch army in the former Dutch East-Indies, namely the Australian historian Robert Cribb. Cribb is fluent in Dutch and is specialized in the Indonesian war of independence. The District Court has assigned him the task of researching the evidentiary issues in the cases concerning the unlawful executions on South-Sulawesi in 1946 and 1947.  In that regard, he may also conduct research in the Dutch National Archives in The Hague. The District Court has also ordered the Dutch State to submit its own research and findings with regard to each widow/child to the court.

Victims of Srebrenica vs the Dutch State

Closing chapter civil proceedings Srebrenica-cases (Nuhanović / Mustafić)

More than 20 years after the fall of the Srebrenica-enclave, the Dutch government has apologized to Hasan Nuhanović and the family Mustafić, surviving relatives of three Muslim men who were expelled from the Dutch/UN-compound in July 1995 and were murdered by Bosnian-Serb soldiers. The surviving relatives have also been compensated for their damages. They were represented by lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld

Annex [in Dutch]

Previously

Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Train hijacking De Punt: Next-of-kin hold Dutch State liable for the execution of their relatives

Train hijacking De Punt: Next-of-kin hold Dutch State liable for the execution of their relatives

Today, lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg summoned the Dutch State before the District Court of The Hague on behalf of the relatives of two hijackers who were shot dead when the hijacking of a train near the town De Punt (Drenthe) was ended by force on 11 June 1977. Zegveld and Vossenberg claim that there is sufficient proof that Max Papilaja and Hansina Uktolseja were unnecessarily and thus illegally killed. Evidence shows that that the hijackers were shot at close distance by marines who entered the train, while they were already defenceless and could also have been arrested. In addition, the lawyers claim that the marines used Hollow Point 5 bullets, a type of ammunition that is prohibited by the laws of war. The Dutch State is summoned to appear before the Court in The Hague on 23 December 2015.

Background
In the morning of 23 May 1977, nine young Moluccans hijacked an intercity train near the town De Punt to address their struggle for an independent Moluccan state. The train hijacking was ended by force on 11 June 1977, killing six of the nine hijackers and two hostages, and (gravely) wounding others. In his report to parliament, the then Minister of Justice, Dries Van Agt, stated that ‘controlled force’ had been used. The government closed the file within two weeks, on 23 June 1977. Only recently disclosed documents contradict the conclusion of ‘controlled force’. In response to parliamentary questions late 2013, the Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, ordered an archival investigation into ‘De Punt’, the conclusions of which were published on 19 November 2014. The Dutch State denies all liability.    

Writ of summons, 7 December 2015 (in Dutch).
Radio Interview, BNR Radio, 7 December 2015 (in Dutch).

Victims of Srebrenica vs the Dutch State

Complaint against decision not to prosecute Dutchbatters in connection with death of Muslim men at Srebrenica rejected

The complaint against the decision not to prosecute Dutchbatters for the deaths of Muslim men at Srebrenica that was filed last year by Hasan Nuhanović and the family Mustafić, has been rejected by the appeals court in Arnhem.  The surviving relatives are represented by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Göran Sluiter.  
Liesbeth Zegveld: "It is a sad day for judicial control of military operations. If this case does not call for a full investigation, then perhaps it would be better to abolish criminal law for our military forces. What everyone knew - that the Bosnian Serbs were out to get the Muslim men - the Dutchbat leadership did not know, according to the appeals court. The family Mustafić and Nuhanović were terrified on 13 July 1995, but Dutchbat did not have to fear for their fates and was allowed to send them off the compound, according to the appeals court. Whereas we continue to prosecute criminals from the Second World War, this appeals court also thinks the events in question happened too long ago.  We shall submit the case to the European Court of Human Rights."
Read the decision by the appeals court here [in Dutch] and here [English translation].

Victims of the mustard gas attacks in Iraq and Iran vs the Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat

Decision that Van Anraat must pay compensation to victims of chemical attacks in Iraq confirmed

The Appeals Court of The Hague confirmed that the Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat must compensate victims of mustard gas-attacks in Iran and Iraq in the mid-eighties. The Appeals Court held that the appeal that Van Anraat had lodged against the verdict rendered by the District Court of The Hague op 23 April 2013, was unfounded on all counts.  

During the Saddam Hussein-regime, Van Anraat supplied the Iraqi military industry with large quantities of thiodiglycol (‘TDG’).  The Iraqi regime then used that material to produce mustard gas, which was subsequently used in bombs.  The Iraqi regime then used those bombs against civilians in the mid-eighties. The civilians suffered serious, lasting damage (to their health) as a result. Previously, Van Anraat had been irrevocably convicted for his criminal involvement therewith. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld subsequently sued Van Anraat in civil court for the damages of victims of those chemical attacks.

Read the verdict here (in Dutch).

Indonesian war widows

The Netherlands liable for damages of widows and children of summary executions in the former Dutch East Indies

In an interlocutory judgment rendered today, the district court of The Hague held that the Dutch State is liable for the damages of both the widows and the children of men who were summarily executed in the former Dutch East Indies. In 2011, the district court of The Hague had already held that invoking the statute of limitations vis-à-vis the claims filed by widows of summarily executed men and one survivor from the town Rawagadeh, was unacceptable by standards of reasonableness and fairness. Today, the court held that invoking prescription with regard to the  children is (also) contrary to good faith.

Click here for the press release on the website of the Netherlands Judiciary (available in Dutch).

The surviving relatives are represented by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg.

Previously

Victims of Srebrenica vs the Dutch State

ECHR-complaint against decision not to prosecute Karremans c.s.

ECHR-complaint against decision not to prosecute Karremans c.s.

Lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Tomasz Kodrzycki have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the surviving relatives of three Muslim men who were killed by the Bosnian-Serb army after the fall of the Srebrenica-enclave. The complaint is summarized as follows:

"The refusal properly to investigate, under criminal law, the involvement of Karremans c.s. in the deaths of the applicants’ family members in Srebrenica in 1995 with a view to prosecuting them for these crimes, constitutes a violation of Article 2 of the Convention (the right to life), in particular the duty duly to investigate fatal incidents by carrying out an independent and effective investigation."

Read the full summary here.

Staff Union of the European Patent Organisation (SUEPO) vs the European Patent Organisation (EPO)

Staff unions win appeal against the European Patent Organization on most counts

The appeals court in The Hague held that the appeal filed by the Staff Union of the European Patent Organization (‘SUEPO’) and its Dutch branch, the Vakbondsunie van het Europees Octrooibureau (‘VEOB’), in their case against the European Patent Organization (‘EPO’), was well-founded on most counts.
Read the press release here.

The unions are represented by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Christiaan Oberman (Palthe Oberman Lawyers).

Annex

  • Judgment Appeals Court The Hague of 17 February 2015 in Dutch and English (unofficial translation)

The case of the Palestinan doctor and Bulgarian nurses who were wrongly accused by Libya of infecting some 450 Libyan children with the HIV virus.

Request that the Netherlands approaches Libya on behalf of victim 'Benghazi HIV-case

By letter of 16 December 2014 to the Dutch minister of foreign affairs , lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld has asked the Netherlands to appraoch the Libyan authorities in order to obtain compensation for the Palestinian doctor Ashraf El-Hagoug.  The international human rights organization Redress wrote a letter to the minister in support of that request.
Mr. El-Hagoug suffered severe damage as a result of the so-called 'Benghazi HIV-case'. Those events have been condemned by the district court of The Hague as well as by the UN Human Rights Committee.
Read Redress' letter to minister Koenders here.

Jaloud vs the Netherlands

Violation of article 2 ECHR by the Netherlands re: fatal shooting in Iraq (Jaloud v. the Netherlands)

Today, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that there has been a violation of article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the case Jaloud vs the Netherlands. This also means that the argument, raised by the Netherlands and (intervening party) the United Kingdom, that the ECHR did not apply to the Dutch military contingent in Iraq at the time, was dismissed by the Court.

The case concerns a fatal shooting incident in Iraq on 21 April 2004 involving Dutch soldiers. Mr Azhar Sabah Jaloud lost his life in the incident. The father of the victim, who had initiated the case, was represented by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Wil Eikelboom.

Read the press release by the ECHR here.

Annex

Indonesian war widows

Extension of civil settlement scheme for damages of Indonesian widows

Extension of civil settlement scheme for damages of Indonesian widows

Good news for the Indonesian widows today. The Compensation Scheme for the summary executions of their husbands in the post-colonial war with the Netherlands has been extended by two years.
This development comes in reaction to a letter from my colleague Brechtje Vossenberg and myself.

The Civil Settlement Scheme on the basis of which widows of summary executions of the same nature and gravity as Rawagedeh and South-Sulawesi can request the Dutch State for compensation, has been extended by two years.

The Civil Settlement Scheme was announced by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence on 10 September 2013. Widows who wish to qualify for compensation under the Scheme, originally had to submit their requests thereto to the State before 11 September 2015. That deadline has now been extended.

This development comes in reaction to a letter from lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg, requesting for an extension of the deadline. The lawyers represent several widows (and children) of the State’s summary execution policy in the former Dutch East Indies.

Annexes (in Dutch)

Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Train Hijacking 'De Punt'

Today, lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg have held the Dutch State liable on behalf of the surviving relatives of five hijackers who were shot dead when the hijacking of a train near the town De Punt (Drenthe) was ended by force, as well as on behalf of one survivor of that assault. 

Read the press release here.

Annexes (available in Dutch)

Indonesian war widows

Forgotten by the Fatherland

Forgotten by the Fatherland

Yesterday, I received a first copy of the book ‘Vergeten door het Vaderland’ (‘Forgotten by the Fatherland’) by Wilma van der Maten. The book describes the stories of Dutch children and their mothers who were left behind by the Dutch government after Indonesia obtained independence in 1945. Some may say: let the past rest. But the past is never the past. Not for those who were left behind and whose lives were swept away, but nor for the Fatherland that has no choice but to remember and take responsibility for its actions.

Article in Het Parool (in Dutch)
Nederland liet ons stikken. Advocaat komt op voor Nederlanders in Indonesië (august 20, 2015)


Jaloud vs the Netherlands

Hearing European Court of Human Rights in the case of Jaloud v. the Netherlands

On 19 February 2014, on behalf of their client Mr. Sabah Jaloud, lawyers Wil Eikelboom and Liesbeth Zegveld argued before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (‘ECHR’) that the Dutch State had violated article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention). Jaloud lost his son, Azhar Sabah Jaloud, who was killed during a shooting incident at a Vehicle Checkpoint in Iraq on 21 April 2004. A Dutch soldier (lieutenant A.) was involved in the fatal shooting.

The case before the ECHR turns first to the question of whether the Netherlands had jurisdiction seeing as how the incident took place in Iraq; if jurisdiction is accepted, it means that the Convention is applicable in this case. The ECHR can then assess whether or not the Netherlands fulfilled its obligation, under article 2, to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Azhar Sabah; the lawyers argue that this did not happen.

The ECHR is expected to render its decision in 6-9 months.

Click here for  video coverage of the hearing, and here for a press release about the case that was issued by the ECHR.

See also:
The background report by the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur  (‘Advocaat Zegveld: OM pleegt meineed’, broadcasted on 12 February 2014). The television report concerns the fact that the lawyers recently gained access to a number of witness statements by Iraqi soldiers that reveal that it is very likely that only lieutenant A. fired at Azhar Sabah’s vehicle that night.

Victims of Srebrenica vs the Dutch State

Apologies Dutch government to Hasan Nuhanovic and family Mustafic

Apologies Dutch government to Hasan Nuhanovic and family Mustafic

After 14 years of litigation, the Dutch government apologized to Hasan Nuhanovic and family Mustafic. Their male family members were expelled from the Dutch/UN compound in Srebrenica in July 1995. Outside the compound they were taken away by the Bosnian-Serb army, who killed them. The Dutch government now said it regretted that the refugees had to leave the compound and paid compensation to the family members.

The case on behalf of Palestinians affected by the barrier between Israel and Palestine.

Prosecution of Riwal for involvement in construction of Israeli Wall and settlements discontinued

On 14 May 2013, the National Office of the Public Prosecutions Department announced that it will discontinue the prosecution of the company Lima Holding B.V., part of the Dutch Riwal-group.

On 15 March 2010, lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, filed a criminal complaint against the company on behalf of the non-governmental organization Al-Haq, with its registered offices in Ramallah (Occupied Palestinian Territories), for war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the period 2004 until then in the Netherlands and/or the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In particular, the criminal complaint concerned the contributions made by Riwal-companies to the construction of the Wall (near Al-Khader and Hizma) and an Israeli settlement on the West Bank (Bruqin). In 2004, the International Court of Justice found that the construction of the Wall constituted a violation of international humanitarian law. In response to the criminal complaint, the Dutch justice department initiated criminal investigations into Riwal, and searched its offices in multiple locations.

In a reaction to the decision by the Public Prosecutions Department, Liesbeth Zegveld has stated that it is a shame that prosecution will not be continued. On the other hand, the Public Prosecutions Department has made a major effort with regard to the criminal investigations.

Zegveld: "Riwal has taken far-reaching steps so as to permanently terminate its activities in Israel and/or the occupied territories pursuant to the criminal investigation. I think this case is a warning to companies not to get involved in these dirty businesses."

Read the press release by the Public Prosecution Service here.

Indonesian war widows

Dutch State has lists of executed Indonesians

Dutch State has lists of executed Indonesians

I was recently told by journalist Manon van den Brekel that the Dutch State has lists containing the names of Indonesian men and boys who were executed by Dutch military in 1947. These lists are kept in Dutch national archives. This is shocking as many Indonesian widows and children are currently engaged in court procedures trying to prove that their husbands and fathers were indeed executed.

read further: https://decorrespondent.nl/…/In-het-N…/227241105828-32684d3a

Victims of the mustard gas attacks in Iraq and Iran vs the Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat

Dutch businessman Van Anraat sentenced to pay Euro 25.000,00 in damages to 16 victims of Iraqi chemical attacks

the district court of The Hague sentenced Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat to payment of damages to the victims of mustard-gas attacks in Iraq and Iran in the 1980s.

The district court declared Iranian and Iraqi law applicable to the claims. It found one of the claims filed by an Iraqi plaintiff to inadmissible due to prescription. The court granted the sixteen other claims, and awarded the plaintiffs Euro 25.000,00 each for immaterial damages suffered.

During the Saddam Hussein-regime, Van Anraat supplied the Iraqi military industry with large quantities of thiodiglycol (‘TDG’). The Iraqi regime then used that material to produce mustard gas, which was subsequently processed in bombs. The Iraqi regime then used those bombs against civilians in the mid-eighties. The civilians suffered serious, lasting damage (to their health) as a result. The seventeen plaintiffs in this case were victims of these chemical attacks.

The criminal involvement of Van Anraat with these war crimes was confirmed in a final judgment by a three-judge chamber of the Appeals Court of The Hague. However, the chamber referred the claims filed by the victims as ‘injured party’ to the civil court. For that reason, plaintiffs subpoenaed Van Anraat in a civil suit on 14 December 2009, respectively 7 July 2010. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld represented the victims in both the criminal case and the civil procedure.

Read the verdict in Dutch here.

Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd files criminal complaint against Japanese whaling fleet

For the second time, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has filed a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecution Service against skipper Tomoyuki Ogawa and the crew of the Nisshin Maru, the mother ship of the Japanese whaling fleet.

The Nisshin Maru is guilty of piracy, violence against the crew of a sea vessel and endangering safe passage, and the destruction of Sea Shepherd ships. All three counts are criminal acts according to the Dutch Penal Code.

Read the press release here.

Criminal complaint against Jorge Zorreguieta for enforced disappearances

New information regarding criminal complaint against Jorge Zorreguieta

Lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Göran Sluiter sent a letter to the National Office of the Public Prosecution Service regarding the criminal complaint filed against Jorge Zorreguieta. By decision of 16 March 2012, the prosecutor's office had informed the complainants that it would not be initiating a criminal investigation against Zorreguieta, inter alia because it did not expect further investigation to yield evidence. Even so, this decision could be reviewed in light of new facts and/or circumstances.

In the meantime new facts and circumstances have indeed come to light that increase the likelihood that Zorreguieta was co-responsible for the enforced disappearances. For example, research has shown that close ties existed between the military regime and (high-ranking) officials within the Ministry of Agriculture, and that the ministry was indeed aware of the disappearance of its employees.

Enforced disappearances, both as independant offense and in its capacity as a crime against humanity, constitutes a continuing crime over which the Netherlands has jurisdiction. Under the International Convention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, the Netherlands, and therefore the public prosecutor's office, has a far-reaching obligation to take an active stance in investigating enforced disappearances.

Read the letter of 31 January 2013 here (available in Dutch).

Annexes (in Dutch)

Victims of the mustard gas attacks in Iraq and Iran vs the Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat

Dutch businessman Van Anraat has to pay back illegally obtained profits

The appeals court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat must pay the Dutch State a sum of Euro 540,000.- in illegally obtained profits. The court finds it proven that Van Anraat earned this money by supplying Saddam Hussein with raw materials (chemicals) for poison gas in the 1980’s.

Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld is representing a group of 17 victims of the poison gas attacks in Iraq before the Dutch courts. The victims want Van Anraat to pay them each a sum of Euro 25,000.- for the injuries they suffered as a result of the poison gas attacks. The victims hope that in light of this conviction, the Public Prosecution Service will continue its search for the money that Van Anraat made with the deliveries, and that they can ultimately be paid.

The case of the Palestinan doctor and Bulgarian nurses who were wrongly accused by Libya of infecting some 450 Libyan children with the HIV virus.

Human Rights Committee convicts Libya for torture of detainees during Benghazi HIV-trial

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, during its 104th Session in March 2012, has convicted Libya for torture and violation of the right to liberty of the detainees during the so-called 'Benghazi HIV-trial'. The Committee also found a violation of the right to a fair trial of the victim.

Read the press release here.

Annexes

Criminal complaint against Jorge Zorreguieta for enforced disappearances

Criminal complaint against Jorge Zorreguieta for enforced disappearances

On Friday 2 September 2011–on behalf of the surviving relatives of a missing victim–Liesbeth Zegveld and Göran Sluiter filed a criminal complaint against Jorge Zorreguieta for deliberately allowing enforced disappearances and crimes against humanity to take place between 1976 and 1981 and for participation in a criminal organization, namely the Videla-regime, between 1976 and 1983.

Read the criminal complaint ( in Dutch).

Julio Poch

Getuigen in de zaak Poch treden naar buiten

De getuigen in de zaak Poch zijn naar buiten gekomen met hun verklaringen omtrent de mogelijke betrokkenheid van Poch bij de zogenaamde Argentijnse dodenvluchten. Hun advocate Liesbeth Zegveld heeft hen bijgestaan bij hun verhoor bij de rechter-commissaris. Dit verhoor heeft plaatsgevonden op verzoek van de Argentijnse justitie.

Bijlagen

Greenpeace vs Trafigura

Court sentences Trafigura to a 1 million euro fine

The court in Amsterdam sentenced Trafigura Beheer BV to a 1 million euro fine for exporting harmful waste to Ivory Coast and for delivering the health-endangering goods in Amsterdam while concealing their harmful nature. A Trafigura employee and the captain of the toxic waste vessel, the Probo Koala, were also sentenced.

On 16 September 2009, Liesbeth Zegveld and Michiel Pestman  filed a complaint with the Court of Appeal in The Hague on behalf of Greenpeace on account of the failure to prosecute the criminal offences committed by Trafigura in Ivory Coast.

Annexes