Spanish Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido has declined to open an investigation in Spain’s National Court into whether six top Bush Administration officials sanctioned torture at Guantanamo Bay. While Spain’s courts do have jurisdiction in the case of war crimes and torture under the doctrine of “universal justice.” Conde-Pumpido declared that the most proper forum for such an investigation would be in United States’ court system, not Spain’s.
The “Bush Six”, as they have come to known, have been accused of using legal opinions to advise the Bush Administration that it would be acceptable to ignore the Geneva Conventions and narrowly defining which interrogation techniques constituted torture. They are named in a complaint filed by several human rights lawyers.
Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, who is presiding over the case, is most well-known for indicting Chilean ruler Augusto Pinochet over the objections of prosecutors. However, Conde-Pumpido is Spain’s top law-enforcement official and would have the final say. A formal announcement is expected April 17.
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