The Bush Six Get a New Judge

by Kevin Jon Heller

The National Court has reassigned the case from Judge Garzon to Judge Eloy Velasco.  CNN says that “Judge Velasco is thought to have little, if any, experience in these kinds of cases.”  Apparently, CNN has never heard of The Google, because it took me about 30 seconds to learn that, in January, Judge Velasco relied on Spain’s universal jurisdiction law to open an investigation into the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests by members of the Salvadoran army:

A Spanish judge has decided to open an investigation into the case of 14 members of the Salvadoran army accused of involvement in killing six Jesuit priests and two of their employees in 1989, during El Salvador’s civil war.

High Court Judge Eloy Velasco also decided not to try former Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani, accused of concealment of the crime, because of insufficient evidence.

Last November, the Spanish Association for Human Rights and the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability filed a lawsuit against the military officers and Cristiani based on the Spanish legal principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity.

In 1991 a Salvadoran court convicted two of the 14 accused army members of murder and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism. Both were sentenced to 30 years in prison, but were released when the parliament approved a law granting them amnesty in 1993, one year after the war ended.

Velasco’s decision was announced Jan. 13, nearly 20 years after the Nov. 16, 1989, massacre at Central American University in San Salvador.

Note the penultimate paragraph: two of the soldiers under investigation were freed as a result of a government amnesty.  Given the Obama administration’s lack of interest in investigating — much less prosecuting — its predecessor’s many crimes, that would make me very nervous if I was one of the Bush Six…

One Response

  1. Mass Media coming through time and time again!

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