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.