- Category: News
- Created on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:11
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Johannes Rutten, who was a lieutenant-colonel in the UN-sponsored mission, had resisted previous demands to produce the documents, arguing that they contained sensitive personal information.
The vice-president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague had threatened Rutten with a fine or prison sentence if he did not co-operate.
After being assured that he would be allowed to blank out any sections containing private information, Rutten agreed to produce his diaries at the tribunal.
It is hoped the former soldier’s recollections from the time will reveal vital information about the circumstances in which up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims lost their lives in July 1995.
The Dutchbat force was widely criticised after it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces while protecting the town, which had been designated a “safe zone” under the protection of the United Nations.
Rutten was one of a group of soldiers who photographed the bodies of nine Muslims who were found near the Dutch base after the massacre, but the images were lost in the photo laboratory.
Some critics believe the film was sabotaged in a deliberate attempt to cover up how much the Dutch knew about the massacre.
Rutten also observed Bosnian Serb troops, led by General Ratko Mladic, separating Muslim men from women and children shortly before the slaughter began.
In 2002 the Dutch government commissioned a report into Srebrenica which prompted the resignation of prime minister Wim Kok and his cabinet.
It found the Netherlands’ political and military hierarchy guilty of criminal negligence, though it also blamed the UN for failing to give Dutchbat adequate support.