AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch state is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men after the fall of Srebrenica during the 1992-5 Bosnian war, a Dutch appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
"The court ruled that the Dutch state is responsible for the death of these men because Dutchbat (Dutch U.N. troops)should not have handed them over," a spokeswoman for the court in The Hague said.
Dutch U.N. peacekeeping troops were in charge of the U.N.-declared Srebrenica 'safe area' in July 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces overran the enclave and later killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
The Dutch government, which has faced several lawsuits in recent years over the massacre, has always insisted that its troops were abandoned by the United Nations, which provided them no air support.
(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block and Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Jon Boyle)