News 15 Jun 17

War Crimes Defendants Unharmed by Hague Jail Fire

Detainees at the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia were not harmed when a fire erupted in a psychiatric unit cell at the high-security jail in Scheveningen in the Netherlands, killing one prisoner.

The UN Detention Unit in Scheveningen, The Hague. Photo: BIRN.

The Dutch justice ministry told BIRN on Thursday that no defendants at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia who are being held at the UN detention unit at the Scheveningen prison were injured by the blaze that erupted overnight.

“Yes, there was a fire in Scheveningen during the night, but nothing related to prisoners from the ICTY,” the ministry said.

“The fire was in another part of the prison, a completely different part, the psychiatric part, where psychiatric prisoners are,” it added.

One prisoner, a Dutch national, died as a result of the blaze.

The other prisoners were evacuated.

Those held at the UN detention unit include former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his former military commander, Ratko Mladic, as well as former Serbian security chiefs Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.

But the unit for war crimes defendants was “in no way affected” by the fire, the ICTY told BIRN.

The cause of the incident has not yet been determined and police are investigating, the ICTY added.

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