Guatemala ex-police chief charged in Spain with war crimes dies

[JURIST] Former Guatemalan Police Director German Chupina, one of eight high ranking government and military officers charged [JURIST report] in Spain with genocide, torture, and other crimes against humanity, died Sunday at the age of 86. In December, a Guatemalan court ruled [JURIST report] that the eight men, including former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, could not be extradited to Spain, finding that Spain does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed during Guatemala's 36-year civil war [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; BBC timeline]. Chupina was arrested in November 2006 and subsequently released in December 2007 following the court ruling. AP has more.

The Spanish case was filed by Guatemalan Nobel Peace Price winner Rigoberta Menchu [Nobel profile] in 1999, based on allegations that the men were responsible for atrocities committed during the civil war, including the murder of eight Spanish priests and a 1980 military assault on the Spanish Embassy that killed 37 people, including Menchu's father. The Spanish National Court took jurisdiction of the case in 2006 after the Spanish Constitutional Court ruled [JURIST reports] in 2005 that Spanish courts can exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes committed during Guatemala's civil war. A National Court judge issued arrest and extradition warrants in 2006; at that time, Montt dismissed the warrants as unfounded [JURIST report].



 

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