Spain Opens Inquiry on Guantánamo
Filed at 3:01 p.m. ET
MADRID (AP) -- A Spanish judge opened a probe into the Bush administration over alleged torture of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, pressing ahead Wednesday with a drive that Spain's own attorney general has said should be waged in the United States, if at all.
Judge Baltasar Garzon, Spain's most prominent investigative magistrate, said he is acting under this country's observance of the principle of universal justice, which allows crimes allegedly committed in other countries to be prosecuted in Spain.
He said documents declassified by the new U.S. government suggest the practice was systematic and ordered at high levels of the US government.
Garzon's move is separate from a complaint by human rights lawyers that seeks charges against six specific Bush administration officials they accuse of creating a legal framework to permit torture of suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. detention facilities.
Spanish prosecutors said on April 17 that any such probe should be carried out by the U.S. and recommended against it being launched in Spain. Their opinion has been endorsed by Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido. Garzon originally had that case, but ultimately it was transferred to another judge, who has yet to decide whether to investigate.
Now, Garzon is opening a separate, broader probe that does not name any specific suspects but targets ''possible material authors'' of torture, accomplices and those who gave torture orders.
Garzon is acting on his own, rather than in response to a complaint filed with the National Court, which is the usual procedure for universal justice probes in Spain.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking with reporters in Berlin before the investigation was announced, did not rule out cooperating with such an investigation....
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