New trouble for Rumsfeld in Spain

May 3, 2007 at 2:22 PM
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BERLIN, May 3 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld may be in legal trouble in Spain.

Together with Spanish colleagues, the German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck wants to press charges against Rumsfeld and 13 other high-ranking U.S. officials in Spain because of alleged human and civil rights violations, the German news magazine Der Spiegel said in its latest issue. The officials are to be made responsible for alleged mistreatment, abuse and torture at the U.S. military prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

In Germany, Kaleck's legal advances failed last week, when a German court for the second time refused to investigate Rumsfeld, but observers say Spain is more likely to agree to open a procedure.

Civil rights activists are unhappy about Germany's unwillingness to open a legal procedure against the former U.S. defense secretary.

"If the prosecutors let themselves be dominated by politics," then the German international law system is worthless, Reed Brody, legal expert at Human Rights Watch, told the magazine.

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