Wednesday, April 13, 2011

JURIST: Spain court turns over Guantanamo torture investigation to US

JURIST reports that Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco will not continue to investigate six Bush administration officials pursuant to torture claims from detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.  Judge Velasco sits on the National Court in Spain.  This reversal was apparently decided after the U.S. Department of Justice wrote a letter assuring Spain that the U.S. is investigating the treatment of detainees at GTMO. DOJ urged Spanish courts to refer complaints to the U.S. for investigation and prosecution. Velasco subsequently agreed to discard three lawsuits filed by former inmates who claimed to be Spanish citizens. According to JURIST, the Obama administration told the Spanish court that the U.S. would not investigate any of the six former Bush administration officials for allowing the torture of detainees in US custody. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) issued a rebuttal supporting Spain's pending criminal complaint against the six U.S. officials. The rebuttal states that the criminal case against the so-called "Bush Six" is properly before the Spanish court.  The letter also claims that there is no competent jurisdiction investigating or prosecuting the allegations in the complaint.