Spain judge weighing probe of US lawyers who promoted Guantanamo: reports

[JURIST] Crusading Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has asked prosecutors to examine [AFP report] the US lawyers reportedly behind the establishment of the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention center, Spanish media reported Saturday. Garzon's request comes after a criminal complaint [text, PDF, in Spanish] was filed last week [Publico report, in Spanish] in the Audiencia Nacional [official website] against six lawyers from the administration of former US president George W. Bush, including David Addington, John Yoo, and former attorney general Alberto Gonzales. The lawsuit, brought under Spain's universal jurisdiction statute, alleges that the six lawyers committed crimes against the international community, as well as crimes against persons and property protected during armed conflict, in violation of the Spanish constitution, as well as the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [UN materials].

Garzon, famed for indicting Osama bin Laden and former Latin American dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archives], is well known for his involvement in high-profile investigations of terror and human rights cases. Last October, he ordered [JURIST report] the exhumation of 19 mass graves in Spain, launching an investigation into the disappearances of tens of thousands of people beginning in the Spanish Civil War [BBC backgrounder], and continuing through the early years of the Francisco Franco dictatorship [BBC backgrounder]. Garzon has also called for the creation of a "truth commission" [JURIST report] to uncover Franco-era abuses.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.