Netherlands continues detention of citizen in Suriname war crimes case
ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay
Netherlands continues detention of citizen in Suriname war crimes case

A Netherlands court Monday set aside amnesty and decided to continue the pre-trial detention of a Dutch ex-army member suspected of war crimes, including the murder of civilians during Suriname’s internal war. The 55-year-old Suriname-born Dutchman was arrested in Amsterdam in October 2021 on the basis of an investigation that indicated he murdered several Surinamese people in 1987 in the vicinities of Brownsweg.

The Surinamese Interior War was a civil war in the South American nation between 1986 and 1992. During the war, the Surinamese National Army fought the Jungle Commando, killing hundreds of civilians and displacing thousands.

The suspect is accused of violating Article 8 of the Criminal Law in Wartime Act for the killing of people not partaking or no longer partaking in combat. The Netherlands’ Public Prosecution Service believes he was a member of the Infantry of the National Army of Suriname during the war and told others that he killed several people in June 1987.

Initially, the suspect’s lawyer invoked amnesty under Surinamese law, which the court rejected on the basis that in exceptional cases, Dutch courts can stand in the way of foreign amnesty. The court determined that this case fell under the exception, due to the severity of the crimes the man allegedly committed.