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Spain high court upholds suspension of investigation into 2002 Gaza bombing

[JURIST] The Spanish Supreme Court [official website, in Spanish] on Tuesday upheld a National Court decision suspending an investigation into a 2002 Israeli air force bombing in the Gaza Strip. The attack killed 15 people, including 14 civilians. The investigation was ordered in January 2009 after a National Court judge determined that the alleged bombing merited judicial investigation, but was suspended [JURIST reports] by the National Court in June. The Supreme Court's decision puts a definitive end [El Pais report, in Spanish] to the controversial investigation.

The decision to suspend the investigation overruled a May 2009 order [text, PDF, in Spanish; JURIST report] by National Court judge Fernando Andreu [JURIST news archive] to continue the investigation despite legal challenges. The court's decision to suspend the investigation was based on a determination that the court lacked jurisdiction because Israel was already investigating the incident. Spain's use of universal jurisdiction [AI backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in similar investigations has been criticized in the past, leading to the passage of legislation [JURIST reports] to limit the scope of universal jurisdiction to cases in which the victims of a crime include Spaniards or the alleged perpetrators were in Spain.

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