Hague District Court declares genocide complaint inadmissible 08 Aug 2007
The Hague District Court has decided that the complaint of genocide in the criminal case against the Rwandese national J.M. is inadmissible.

On 24 July 2007, the Hague District Court decided that the complaint of genocide in the criminal case against the Rwandese national, J.M. - whose full name cannot be disclosed under Dutch law - is inadmissible. J.M. is suspected of having committed genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and is also on trial for war crimes. The Court's intermediary decision will not affect the war crimes count in the indictment. The Court argued that Dutch criminal law does not provide jurisdiction for genocide committed by a Rwandese individual in Rwanda when there are no victims of Dutch nationality. The Dutch Public Prosecutor identified this legal impediment but believed that jurisdiction could exist in the case against J.M. because the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) specifically requested that the Dutch Court take over the ICTR's prosecution. However, the District Court was not persuaded. The Court found that, in a case like this, prosecution under Dutch criminal law can only take place on the basis of a treaty from which the competence of criminal prosecution in the Netherlands can be derived. The Court observed the existence of a lacuna in Dutch criminal law which means that it is not possible to take over the prosecution of an international tribunal like the ICTR in the Netherlands. The District Court recognised that this situation creates the risk of no prosecution at all in cases like these.

As a consequence of this decision, the Dutch Public Prosecutor decided, to suspend, temporarily at least, the summons against another Rwandese national, the 61 year-old Michel B.

District Court of The Hague Interlocutory Decision (in Dutch)

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