Rumsfeld to scrap German visit if probe launched

13th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 December 2004 , BERLIN - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considering calling off a planned visit to Germany early next year after a US human rights organisation asked German authorities to prosecute the Pentagon chief, a news report said. The weekly Focus news magazine said on Monday Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy he would not take part at the Munich Security Conference in February should there be any indication of an investigation. The New York-based Center for C

13 December 2004

BERLIN - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considering calling off a planned visit to Germany early next year after a US human rights organisation asked German authorities to prosecute the Pentagon chief, a news report said.

The weekly Focus news magazine said on Monday Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy he would not take part at the Munich Security Conference in February should there be any indication of an investigation.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint last week with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against Rumsfeld accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection with detainee abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

The organisation alleges violations of German legislation which outlaws war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide independent of the place of crime or origin of the accused.

According to the Focus report, the prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe is examining the roughly 170-page complaint to see if an investigation is warranted.

On its web page, the Center for Constitutional Rights said it and four Iraqis tortured in US custody had filed a complaint with German authorities against Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet and eight other senior military and civilian officials over abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq.

The organisation said it had turned to German prosecutors "as a court of last resort" because the US government "is unwilling to open an independent investigation" and had "refused to join the International Criminal Court".

Several of those it wants investigated are stationed in Germany, it added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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