Chinese ex-president sought in Spanish probe: lawyer
A Spanish judge wants to question former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and other Chinese officials over genocide against ‘evil cult’ Falun Gong.Madrid – A Spanish judge wants to question former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four other Chinese Communist Party officials over allegations of torture and genocide against the Falun Gong, a lawyer for the spiritual movement said Thursday.
Judge Ismael Moreno of the National Court made the decision after concluding a preliminary inquiry, Falun Gong lawyer Carlos Iglesias said.
The Supreme Court in 2006 ordered Moreno to probe a complaint for genocide filed two years earlier by the Falun Gong and which had initially been rejected.
Iglesias said the Chinese officials will receive a letter requesting information about their alleged involvement in the persecution of the Falun Gong.
If they fail to reply within six weeks, the judge could issue arrest warrants against them, Iglesias said.
Chinese authorities banned Falun Gong, whose Buddhist-inspired teachings focus on exercises and which claims 70 million followers in China, in 1999. Beijing has since branded Falun Gong an "evil cult" and sometimes brutally suppressed its practitioners.
The Spanish case was accepted under the principle of "universal jurisdiction" which Spain has observed since 2005 and which allows judges to open probes into genocide and human rights abuses wherever they occur.
But it has also caused diplomatic headaches for the government, and Spain's parliament voted in June to limit its scope.
In May, a Spanish judge also issued rogatory letters to China to request information on eight leaders targetted by a suit by a Tibetan rights groups accusing them of repression in Tibet.
AFP / Expatica