10 April 2012
Dutch court awards claim against 12 former Libyan government officials for torture
On 21 March 2012, the District Court of the Hague awarded €1 million ($1.33 million) in compensation to a Palestinian doctor tortured and jailed in Libya along with five Bulgarian nurses for purportedly infecting children with the AIDS virus, the doctor’s lawyer said Tuesday. The award is directed against 12 former Libyan government officials who were responsible for the torture.
Initially the claim was also directed at Gadaffi, but the Dutch government took the position that he had immunity and the complaint thus could not be served to him, after which his name was removed from the claim. As to the others, no issue of immunity was raised by either the government or the court, and the defendants did not appear. A parallel claim against Libya, that until now has refused to pay compensation, is pending before the Human Rights Committee (raising interesting questions of shared responsibility between states and individuals).