Civic group to file suit against Rumsfeld
An association of lawyers defending detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be filing suit against outgoing US Defence Secretary for his alleged role in sanctioning torture.india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 11:42 IST
An association of lawyers defending detainees held at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said on Friday it will be filing suit against outgoing US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his alleged role in sanctioning torture.
On November 14, The Center for Constitutional Rights "will file a criminal complaint against former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld in German Court," the group said.
The complaint requests the German Federal Prosecutor open an investigation and, ultimately, a criminal prosecution that will look into the responsibility of high-ranking US officials for authorising war crimes in the context of the war on terror.
Former White House counsel and current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former director of the Central Intelligence George Tenet, and other high-ranking US officials are also charged in the complaint.
The complaint will be brought on behalf of 12 victims — 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantanamo detainee — and is being filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights, the Republican Attorneys' Association and others, all represented by Berlin Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck.
"The complaint is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed, but the new complaint is filed with substantial new evidence, new defendants and plaintiffs, a new German Federal Prosecutor and, most important, under new circumstances that include the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defence and the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the US granting officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes," the center said in a statement.
Rumsfeld resigned on Wednesday in the wake of a congressional election, in which Republicans lost control of the US Congress.