[News] Rumsfeld Fears War Crimes Prosecution

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Mon Jan 24 12:10:29 EST 2005


Rumsfeld Scraps Munich Visit Over War Probe

Munich, Germany -- Friday, January 21, 2005 -- (DPA) -- United States
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cancelled a planned visit to Munich,
informing the German government via the US embassy that he will not take
part in a Security Conference there in February, conference head Horst
Teltschik said.

This transpires after the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights
(CCR) filed a complaint  with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against
Rumsfeld in December, accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection
with the notorious abuses and torture of detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib
prison.  Rumsfeld made it known immediately after the complaint was filed
that he would not attend the Munich conference unless Germany quashed the
legal action.

It its written filing, the CCR alleges violations of German legislation
which outlaws war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide independent
of the place of crime or origin of the accused.  The prosecutor's office in
Karlsruhe, Germany is reportedly examining the roughly 170-page complaint to
see if an investigation is warranted.

The CCR further said that it and four Iraqis tortured in US custody had
filed a complaint with German authorities against Rumsfeld, former CIA
director George Tenet, and eight other senior military and civilian
officials over abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq.

The organization added that they had turned to German prosecutors "as a
court of last resort" because the US government "is unwilling to open an
independent investigation" and had "refused to join the International
Criminal Court".

Several of the perpetrators they want investigated are stationed in Germany,
the CCR added.
_ _ _

CERJ Update:  The text of the lawsuit filed by the CCR is available on-line


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