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Spain Allows Case Against US Torture During Bush Era to Proceed

by on February 25, 2011

The Spanish high court ruled that a case against executives from the Bush administration could proceed, denying a request from a prosecutor to dismiss the claim. There are two ongoing investigations in Spain, and I will let quotes describe the cases. From one;

on April 27, 2009, Judge Baltasar Garzón issued a decision opening a preliminary investigation into what he termed “an authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill-treatment on persons deprived of their freedom without any charge and without the basic rights of any detainee, set out and required by applicable international conventions,” in US detention facilities. This decision related to the alleged torture and abuse of four former Guantánamo detainees: Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed, Ikassrien Lahcen, Jamiel Abdul Latif Al Banna and Omar Deghayes. All four men had previously been the subject of a criminal case in Spain, but were subsequently acquitted because of the use of torture and other forms of serious abuse to which they had been subjected during their detention and interrogations at Guantánamo; Judge Garzón had previously issued the extradition requests for Messrs Al Banna and Deghayes. Mr Ahmed is a Spanish citizen and Mr Ikassrien had been a Spanish resident for more than 13 years. The decision presents six pages of facts related to the torture and abuse the four men suffered including being held in cells made of chicken-wire in intense heat; being subjected to constant loud music, extreme temperatures and bright lights; constant interrogations without counsel; sexual assault; forced nakedness; threats of death; and severe beatings. The preliminary investigation did not name potential defendants, but included “possible material and instigating perpetrators, necessary collaborators and accomplices.” Judge Garzón found that the facts relate to violations under the Spanish Penal Code, the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Organic Law of the Judicial Power (Article 23.4).

and from the other;

On March 17, 2009, a criminal complaint was filed against David Addington (former Counsel to, and Chief of Staff for, former Vice President Cheney); Jay S. Bybee (former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)); Douglas Feith (former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Department of Defense (DOD)); Alberto R. Gonzales (former Counsel to former President George W. Bush, and former Attorney General of the United States); William J. Haynes (former General Counsel, DOD); and John Yoo, (former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, OLC, DOJ), collectively known as the “Bush Six,” in which each was alleged to have participated or aided and abetted the torture and other serious abuse of persons detained at U.S. run-facilities at Guantánamo and other overseas locations. They are alleged to have committed numerous violations of international law, including violations of the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture.

Description of both cases comes from the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed a motion in each case to join the investigation as a party.  You can read more about the case, including US involvement, at alternet.

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