A Dutch appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government was partially liable in the deaths of more than 300 Muslim men killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The ruling formally struck down a civil court's landmark 2014 judgment that said the state was liable in the deaths of the Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were turned over by Dutch UN peacekeepers to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 and subsequently killed. But the appeals panel largely upheld the earlier case's findings while significantly cutting the amount of damages relatives of the dead could receive by assessing the victims' chances of survival had they remained in the care of the Dutch troops, the AP reports.
Hague Appeals Court presiding judge Gepke Dulek says that because Dutch soldiers sent the men off the Dutch compound along with other refugees seeking shelter there, "they were deprived of the chance of survival." The men were among around 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed by Bosnian Serb forces in Europe's worst massacre since World War II. The court estimated the chances of Muslim males' survival if they had stayed in the Dutch compound at around 30%. "The state is therefore liable for 30% of the losses suffered by the relatives," the court said in a statement. The 2014 judgment didn't include that qualification. (Last year, the "Butcher of Bosnia" was sentenced to 40 years for his role in the massacre.)