German-based US group seeks Rumsfeld probe

30th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2004 , BERLIN - A criminal complaint against Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and top US officials was filed on Tuesday with German prosecutors by an American human rights group and four Iraqis who say they were tortured by the US armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison. The US Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said in a statement it had given 160 pages of documents backing up the complaint to the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe. Under Germany's criminal code on international law, c

30 November 2004

BERLIN - A criminal complaint against Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and top US officials was filed on Tuesday with German prosecutors by an American human rights group and four Iraqis who say they were tortured by the US armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison.

The US Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said in a statement it had given 160 pages of documents backing up the complaint to the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe.

Under Germany's criminal code on international law, courts have universal jurisdiction for war crimes even if offences are committed abroad and bear no relation to Germany, said the CCR.

"The four Iraqis were victims of gruesome crimes ... including severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse," said the statement.

In addition to Rumsfeld, the US officials for whom charges are sought include former CIA director George Tenet; Undersecretary of Defence Steven Cambone; Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez; and six other senior officers in the US armed forces.

The statement noted that three of the officers for whom charges are being sought, including Sanchez, are stationed at US bases in Germany.

Rumsfeld is a regular visitor to Germany and usually attends the International Security Conference in Munich held during the first week of February.

"We view Germany as a court of last resort," said Peter Weiss, vice-president of CCR, adding: "We file these cases here because there is simply no other place to go. It is clear the US government is not willing to open an investigation into these allegations against these officials."

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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