117048243_7cc6bb0b87Author and British barrister (lawyer) Philippe Sands told The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer: “If I were they, I would think carefully before setting foot outside the United States. They are now, and forever in the future, at risk of arrest. Until this is sorted out, they are in their own legal black hole.”

And who is part of the “they” in question?

Sands, who released a book titled “Torture Team” last year, singles out six former Bush administration officials, including John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer and currently a visiting instructor at Chapman University’s School of Law.

When Sands book – which accuses Bush officials of complicity in acts of torture – came out, his predictions seemed far fetched, Mayer said. But Mayer writes that last week “Sand’s accusations suddenly did not seem so outlandish.” That’s because a court in Spain took the first steps toward the start of a criminal investigation of the Bush Six, the group of officials Sands cited in his book.

Here’s what happened in Spain. According to the New York Times, an official close to the case said the case was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review. According to the article, the official stated it was “highly probable” the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants for the six, though experts have said the warrants would be more symbolic than practical.

Mr. Yoo declined comment on the Times’ story, telling them he had not seen or heard of the petition. But, if you’re in the area, maybe you’ll luck out and he’ll speak on the matter when he debates Chapman Law professors 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 21 in the university’s Memorial Hall in a dialogue titled “Presidential Power and Success in Times of Crisis”.

I’m no psychic, but something tells me this is going to be a debate to watch. The university, in anticipation of a large turnout, has moved the event to a larger location than originally planned and will not be including lunch.

For more information on the event, Chapman’s Web site says to contact Barbara Babcock at bbabcock@chapman.edu.

And here’s a Q&A with John Yoo from the local newspaper, The Orange County Register.

Photo: Joe Gratz / Flickr

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  1. […] no mention of the recent developments in Spain, where prosecutors took the first steps toward a possible criminal investigation for six Bush […]