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Spain judge indicts alleged Nazi guards

[JURIST] A Spanish judge on Thursday indicted three alleged former Nazi guards for crimes against humanity and genocide. Judge Ismael Moreno issued arrest warrants for US residents Johann Leprich and Anton Tittjung and Austrian resident Josias Kumpf. The three allegedly participated in the torture and disappearance [El Pais report, in Spanish] of more than 4,300 Spaniards at the Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen and Flossenburg concentration camps. A Spanish prosecutor asked in May that arrest warrants be issued [JURIST report] 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. The prosecutor did not seek 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 in June 2008 by rights group Equipo Nizkor [advocacy website], which petitioned [press release, in Spanish] Spain's National Court 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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