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Spain prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for alleged Nazis

[JURIST] A prosecutor from the Spanish National Court has asked that arrest warrants be issued for three accused Nazi prison guards [JURIST news archive] currently living in the US. Prosecutor Pedro Martinez Torrijos said [DPA report] that Johann Leprich [DOJ press release; JURIST report], Anton Tittjung [AP report] and Josias Kumpf [DOJ press release, PDF] are accomplices to genocide owing to their roles guarding prisoners at the Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen, and Flossenburg camps during World War II. Torrijos said that Judge Ismael Moreno could hear the case under Spain's universal jurisdiction [AI backgrounder] doctrine, which gives Spain jurisdiction over foreign torture, terrorism, and war crimes only if the case is not subject to the legal system of the country involved. Torrijos did not ask for a warrant for a fourth suspect, John Demjanjuk [JURIST news archive], who is currently awaiting trial as an accessory to murder [JURIST report] in Germany for his involvement at the Sobibor camp [Death Camp backgrounder].

The suit was initiated last June by the rights group Equipo Nizkor [advocacy website], which petitioned Spain's National Court [press release, in Spanish] to press charges against the four accused guards. Demjanjuk, 89, has fought a lengthy legal battle [AP timeline] over his alleged involvement with Nazi death camps during World War II. He was deported to Germany [JURIST report] earlier this month, after the US Supreme Court [official website] denied his stay of deportation [JURIST report].

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