Thursday, May 22, 2008


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (May 22 ,2008) – An international team of lawyers filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of approximately 6,000 genocide survivors from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica against the Dutch State and the United Nations (UN) for helping the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor commit genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

The lawsuit contains 8.000 individual cases with around 6.000 plaintiffs.

Finally, after one year, the first hearing in this case will be held on 18 June 2008 at 10 a.m. at the District Court at The Hague,the Netherlands.

Late last year, the court declared that the UN is in default of appearance.

The UN had announced through other channels that it would be exercising its right to immunity and had therefore chosen not to appear as litigant in the trial.

The genocide victims' families launched the lawsuit against the Netherlands and the U.N arguing the Dutch U.N. soldiers were to blame for the genocide in Sreberenica because they refused crucial air support to their own troops defending the Bosnian town.

The Dutch U.N. soldiers abandoned the enclave instead,and the genocidal Serbian aggressor mass murdered up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians who had relied on protection from the Dutch U.N. troops.

Former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, both wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague on genocide charges over Srebrenica, are still on the run.

Dismayed by the failure to bring to justice the two chief suspects, the genocide victims' families say they have turned to a Dutch court for recognition and redress for the tragedy.

The Dutch state has always said its troops were abandoned by the U.N. which gave them no air support, but public documents actually show a network of Dutch military officials within the U.N. blocked air support because they feared their soldiers could be hit by friendly fire, the genocide victims families' lawyers said.

Despite repeated attempts by both the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office and the attorney of the Dutch State to have the claims of the genocide survivors declared inadmissible, the judge decided in the favor of the genocide survivors.

During this crucially important hearing, proceedings will only deal with the issue of whether the UN,despite its direct involvement in the genocide in Bosnia,is entitled to immunity in this extraordinary case.

Given the possible implications for the UN, this trial will be receiving worldwide attention. The court has already indicated that additional measures will be taken in this respect for media and other purposes.

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