Paul Haven of The Associated Press is reporting that Spanish prosecutors are likely to make a decision this week regarding whether to pursue criminal charges against six former Bush administration officials, including Chapman University School of Law visiting professor John Yoo, for enabling torture.
“Under Spanish law, once the judge receives the prosecutor’s recommendation, he can either drop the case or open a full-blown probe that could lead to an indictment. It is the investigative judge, not the prosecutors, who files criminal charges.”
The other officials named in the case are former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith; Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; Justice Department official Jay S. Bybee; and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes.
And why is Spain leading the charge with the charges?
Haven writes that “Spanish law gives its courts jurisdiction beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes, based on a doctrine known as universal justice, though the government has recently said it hopes to limit the scope of the legal process.”
And one of the human rights lawyers who brought the case told the AP that Spain’s claim of jurisdiction is supported by the fact that five Gitmo inmates were either citizens or residents of Spain.
Read the rest of Haven’s story here.
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About The Chronicles of a BlawgirlThis blawg follows Julie Anne Ines as she continues her law school journey as a 3L in Fall 2011. Learn more about her here. Find/stalk her online profiles using the social toolbar at the bottom of your browser. Email her at ja_ines (at) msn (dot) com. Thank you for reading!
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