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Swiss war crimes task force on the hunt

Dec. 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A special task force created by Switzerland steps up investigations of suspected war criminals from other countries, human rights advocates said.

An International Criminal Law Competence Center was created in July in coordination with the Federal Prosecutor's Office and is comprised of two federal police investigators and three legal experts, Swissinfo.ch reported.

"Switzerland is finally taking its international obligations more seriously," said Track Impunity Always Director Philip Grant.

The task force is currently focusing on two figures in particular: Khaled Nezzar, former Algerian defense minister suspected of alleged civil war offenses, and Erwin Sperisen, ex-Guatemalan police chief accused of human rights abuses.

Switzerland ratified the Rome Statute treaty in 2001, setting up the International Criminal Court. As of Jan. 1, 2011, the Swiss penal law was adapted to allow the Swiss justice system to try people suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide in any country in the world, Swissinfo.ch reported.

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