President Obama’s release of “torture” documents combined with his repeated apologies overseas have struck a chord with at least some lawyers in Spain. They are trying to keep a criminal complaint alive against Bush Administration for alleged torture….
A Spanish court considering whether to investigate former Bush administration officials for allegedly sanctioning torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay assigned the case to a new judge Thursday, a National Court spokeswoman told CNN.
Prosecutors at the court argued last week that the case should be dropped in Spain, but the new judge, investigating magistrate Eloy Velasco, will now have to decide whether to proceed or not, the spokeswoman said.
Velasco’s decision could take days or weeks. He must first study the prosecutors’ arguments calling for the case to be shelved, and the 98-page complaint filed at the court on behalf of the Association for the Rights of Prisoners.
That complaint alleges that former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five other former Bush administration officials sanctioned torture against prisoners at the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
President Obama has said he opposes prosecuting CIA operatives who may have conducted harsh interrogations at Guantanamo but this week he appeared to leave the open the possibility that those who designed the legal framework for the techniques might come under closer scrutiny in the United States.
Lawyer Gonzalo Boye, who presented the complaint for the prisoners rights group to the court, said he hoped the new judge would proceed with the case.
“After reading all the material, and after all that’s been going on in the United States, he should conclude that we’re looking at a crime, despite what the Spanish prosecutors say,” Boye told CNN.