Spain’s AG Caves on the Bush Six

by Kevin Jon Heller

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the case against the Bush Six was likely to go forward.  Unfortunately, rumors of the case’s survival turn out to be somewhat exaggerated:

Spain’s attorney general said he’ll seek dismissal of an investigation of Bush administration officials for alleged torture of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prisoners.

Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido said Thursday the claim against officials in former President George W. Bush‘s administration is fraudulent, CNN reported.

The matter was presented by a human rights group and provisionally accepted by a Spanish court pending the prosecutor’s opinion.

If a claim were to be investigated, it should be pursued by the United States so the former officials would have the opportunity to defend themselves in the U.S. court system, Conde-Pumpido said through his press secretary.

Anyone wondering whether the AG’s opposition is based on legal considerations or on ideology-cum-political-pressure need only consider his statement that the case against the Bush Six is “fraudulent.”  Reasonable people can disagree about whether the prosecution is a good idea.  Reasonable people can even disagree about whether Spanish or international criminal law makes conviction likely.  But to describe the case as “fraudulent” is ridiculous.

Fortunately, the AG’s opposition does not end the case.  The decision to proceed — or not proceed — will ultimately be made by the investigating judge.  Here’s hoping he allows the case to continue.

http://opiniojuris.org/2009/04/16/spains-ag-caves-on-the-bush-six/

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