THE HAGUE, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The District Court in The Hague on Wednesday ruled that the Netherlands is liable for the deaths of more than 300 people who were killed in Srebrenica in 1995 in Bosnia.
The court took the decision in the lawsuit that had been filed by the "Mothers of Srebrenica", an organization representing the relatives of victims of the massacre.
Srebrenica was supposed to be a UN protected safe area during the Bosnian War, but despite the protection of Dutch battalion Dutchbat it was attacked and captured by Bosnian Serb Army.
"Given the information Dutchbat had about the fate of the male refugees at the time and because of the special position of the compound, a fenced-in area where they had full control, they should not have participated in the deportation of the more than 300 men," presiding Judge Larissa Alwin said.
According to the court Dutchbat should have taken into account the possibility that these men would be the victim of genocide.
"And it can be said with sufficient certainty that, had Dutchbat allowed them to stay at the compound, these men would have remained alive. By cooperating in the deportation of these men, Dutchbat acted unlawfully," the judge added.
However, the court decided that the Dutch State cannot be held liable on all counts put forward by the "Mothers of Srebrenica".
The court concluded that Dutchbat and the Dutch State cannot be held responsible for the fall of the enclave and for the acts prior to the fall.
The Mothers of Srebrenica, who have been involved in several lawsuits against the Netherlands already, are not satisfied with the judgment. Their defense team will carefully study the 89-page ruling before deciding whether to appeal.
The Dutch government has not yet reacted to the verdict.
"We will first examine the verdict," the Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) stated.
"The State regrets what had happened with the local population of Srebrenica,"the Ministry of Defense added."The United Nations tried to protect what has resulted in a genocide by Bosnian Serb forces."