War Criminals, Bewareposted on November 15, 2006 | in Category U.S.A. | PermaLink
Source: The Nation
Date: November 20, 2006
On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts will come before the German federal prosecutor and ask him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The recent passage of the Military Commissions Act provides a central argument for the legal action, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction: It demonstrates the intent of the Bush Administration to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes.
The Rumsfeld action was announced at a conference in New York City in late October titled "Is Universal Jurisdiction an Effective Tool?" The doctrine allows domestic courts to prosecute international crimes regardless of where the crime was committed, the nationality of the perpetrator or the nationality of the victim. It is reserved for only the most heinous offenses: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture. A number of countries around the world have enacted universal jurisdiction statutes; even the United States allows it for certain terrorist offenses and torture.
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