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Spain to indict Gonzales, Yoo, Feith, Addington, Bybee, and Haynes?

The same guy who indicted Pinochet:

A high-level Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation against six former Bush administration officials, including former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, on whether they violated international law by providing a legalistic framework to justify the use of torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.

The case was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.

The complaint under review also names John C. Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas J. Feith, the former under secretary of defense for policy.

The other Americans named in the complaint were William J. Haynes II, former general counsel for the Department of Defense; Jay S. Bybee, Mr. Yoo’s former boss at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, who was the chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five citizens or residents of Spain who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have said they were tortured there. The five had been indicted in Spain but their cases were dismissed after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained under torture was not admissible.

Here's a copy of the complaint, via Raw Story, which did a better jpb on this coverage than the majors.

So, great as far as it goes.

Why not indict Bush and Cheney?

UPDATE More from Scott Horton:

The Spanish criminal court now may seek the arrest of any of the targets if they travel to Spain or any of the 24 nations that participate in the European extraditions convention (it would have to follow a more formal extradition process in other countries beyond the 24). The Bush lawyers will therefore run a serious risk of being apprehended if they travel outside of the United States.

Well, not if they head for the Festung Bush down in Uruguay, right?

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

it would have been far less humiliating for the US to have done this ourselves.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Being in full support of indicting Bush and Co. for war crimes, I am, however, adamantly against other countries putting anyone they want on trial. So far, those imperialistic judicial systems have not caused too much damage, but let them put on trial people on their own land and stay away from deep water fishing.

What will happen when Venezuela decides to prosecute Bush? Castro 2 can indict half the Cubans in Miami. It is a deep hole we better be careful not to step into.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

And unlike the US, they don't do extraordinary rendition. So these guys would have to show up in one of the countries with the extradition treaty and be arrested. Yoo won't be woken out of his Berkeley bed and rendered to Spain.

We have the same thing here, with the Alien Tort Claims Act, where aliens resident in the US can bring tort (not criminal) claims against non-resident aliens. Trick is, they have to be served with the summons on US soil, and there are certain restrictions (IIRC, the UN may be off-limits, and airports might be as well). A friend of mine was hired years ago to serve the summons on Ratko Mladic in an ATCA case brought by women who'd been raped in one of his camps. He caught up with Mladic in a bar and served him, quick.