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Germany rejects Rumsfeld war crimes probe

[JURIST] As previously expected [JURIST report], Germany's Federal Prosecutor [official website in German] Thursday rejected calls to investigate US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] for possible war crimes stemming from US abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] and four former Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib [JURIST Hot Topic] who say they were abused by American soldiers had filed a criminal complaint [English translation, PDFl CCR backgrounder] in November, hoping to take advantage of a German law that allows for the prosecution of human rights abuses and war crimes regardless of where they occur. Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm [official profile in German] dismissed the complaint because Germany could only act if the US failed to do so, a circumstance, he said, that has not arisen. The dismissal theoretically opens the way for Rumsfeld to attend the Munich Conference on Security Policy [official website], which starts Friday; he had previously cancelled plans [JURIST report] to fly to Germany for the meeting. Aljazeera has more. From Germany, Deutsche Welle provides local coverage in English.

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