Cologne: The victims of the NATO air raid on a bridge in the Serbian small town of Varvarin in 1999 have also failed in a court of appeal with their case for damages against the Federal Republic. On Thursday [28 July] the Cologne Regional Appeal Court dismissed the case brought by 35 Serb citizens, thereby confirming the ruling of the Bonn district court (Az: 7 U 8/04). The appeal court finds no sufficient basis for the claims for damages, neither in humanitarian international law nor in the basic rights of the Basic Law, nor under the German state liability law.
The group had sued the Federal Republic of Germany for payment of an indemnity in of at least 535,000 euros. The plaintiffs are 17 people severely injured in the attack, as well as 18 family survivors of the 10 people killed in the bombing. They had accused the federal government, vicariously for NATO, of having violated the provisions of the Geneva Protocol for the protection of civilians. The Varvarin bridge, on which civilians were present, had been bombed on 30 May 1999 by fighter jets during the Kosovo war.
Source: ddp news agency, Berlin, in German 0921 gmt 28 Jul 05