Castro's resignation could lead to lawsuits against him in Spain

20th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Cuban leader Fidel Castro's stepping down from power opens the possibility of him being charged with human rights violations in Spain.

20 February 2008

MADRID - Cuban leader Fidel Castro's stepping down from power opens the possibility of him being charged with human rights violations in Spain, judicial experts said Tuesday.

The National Court, which is investigating human rights abuses during the Argentine and Chilean military dictatorships, rejected three complaints against Castro on the grounds that he enjoyed judicial immunity as head of state.

The most recent complaint was filed in December by a dissident group which wanted to charge Castro with genocide, crimes against humanity, torture and terrorism.

The complaint, which also involved former tourism minister Osmani Cienfuegos, was based on the deaths of nine participants in the US- fuelled Bay of Pigs invasion attempt in 1961.

The nine were caught, and died of suffocation inside a lorry transporting them to a prison in Havana.

The Spanish judiciary regards itself as competent to judge human rights violations committed in other countries. In 1998, National Court judge Baltasar Garzon made an unsuccessful attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for a trial in Spain.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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