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Rumsfeld Lawsuit Embarrasses German Authorities
04-07-2007, 07:18 AM,
Rumsfeld Lawsuit Embarrasses German Authorities

Quote:By Ulrike Demmer

Kaleck is basing his lawsuit on the Code of Crimes Against International Law, which came into force in Germany in 2002. Under the code, Germany's chief prosecutor is entitled to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes -- irrespective of the location of the defendant or plaintiff, the place where the crime was carried out or the nationality of the persons involved.

The crimes listed in the code are considered fundamental crimes whose prosecution lies in the interest of humanity and can therefore not be considered simply a domestic affair of the country involved. The German authors of the legal code were thorough, and their text is considered exemplary.

Murder, torture and rape are non-derogable acts. Any country can prosecute. It doesn't require a special law, since those are already international treaties.

The ICC cannot prosecute and it's likely that the ICJ cannot prosecute either. The issue there is jurisdiction.
Probably the best way to explain that is to look at Rwanda. The ICJ could not prosecute because it was an internal conflict under which the UN has no jurisdiction. However, once the conflict threatened to spill over into neighboring Burundi and other countries, then that made it of an international character, and the UN could take control. It still could have been prosecuted in the national court of another country.

That's also similar to Bosnia. That was an internal conflict over which the UN had no control, but once the independence of Slovenia and Croatia were recognized and the action threatened those countries the UN had control and the ICJ could prosecute.

So, now that you know that, why did Bush ram Karzai into power in Afghanistan and push for elections in Iraq as quickly as possible?

To convert those actions from an external conflict to an internal conflict. From that point on, the UN/ICJ has no jurisdiction.

That doesn't mean they can't be prosecuted, it just means the ICJ would have trouble establishing jurisdiction.

Quote:There are several reasons for trying a second time, Kaleck says. First of all, it's now clear that those members of the US administration who are responsible for the alleged crimes have no fear of legal prosecution in the United States -- which means Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office can no longer claim the accused face legal action in their own country.

Not exactly true. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 grants immunity back to 1997, which is the year US troops began special operations in Khazakstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Krygystan to prop up the puppet dicators there, and began operations in Afghanistan to coerce the Taliban to commit to the CENTGAS pipeline project.

Since the MCA/2006 conflicts with international treaties and only the president can annul a treaty, the Supreme Court would have to strike the entire act, or at least those parts that conflict. The immunity part doesn't necessarily conflict, so it would probably only be stricken if the whole act were rejected.

Quote:Secondly, there is now much more evidence to support the charges. It's also a "happy coincidence" that Rumsfeld resigned in 2006, thereby losing his immunity from prosecution, Kaleck feels.

He's still working at the Pentagon in an "official capacity" so that he has functional immunity.

Quote:This loophole has already allowed the Federal Prosecutor's Office to avoid pressing uncomfortable charges once before. A year and a half ago, it had the option of taking action against the former interior minister of Uzbekistan, Zakir Almatov, who is considered one of the main people responsible for the bloody repression of a May 2005 insurrection in the Uzbek city of Andijan. But criminal proceedings against Almatov would have put the German government in an uncomfortable position: The German military has been using the Uzbek air base Termez as a support base for its activities as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

They already are. A report in Le Monde and in the CRS from 2 years ago says NATO countries have refused to surrender prisoners to the US. They've been turning them over to the Afghan government which has also protested the treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo.

Quote:Rumsfeld will be unlikely to choose to spend his vacation in Germany, should the Federal Prosecutor's Office decides to press charges. Kaleck doesn't believe Rumsfeld's absence constitutes a good reason to reject the lawsuit. He emphasizes that witnesses and evidence could be presented to the court in Germany. After all, verifying evidence is also standard legal procedure, he says.

They can be tried in abstentia. Wouldn't be the first time it happened. An EU arrest warrant or extradition order is valid in all EU member countries, so it isn't just Germany that Rumsfeld couldn't travel in, it's all EU member countries.

Quote:The human rights organization Human Rights Watch now takes a critical view of the investigators in Karlsruhe. Lotte Leicht, the director of the organization's EU branch, speaks of Germany merely paying "lip service" to international law. A perfect law is worthless if it's not applied, she insists, arguing that Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are much more committed than Germany in this respect.

Yes, they can and will try cases against the Bush Administration.

If you commit a non-violent crime that was not a theft/fraud and didn't involve anti-semitism, Karlsruhe is the place you want to flee to. It's unlikely they would extradite you and if you won the extradition hearing, it's valid in all EU member countries so you can travel and live in the EU without fear of being arrested for another extradition hearing.
04-07-2007, 11:06 AM,
Rumsfeld Lawsuit Embarrasses German Authorities
according to der Spiegel, the charges were dropped only two days later...,1518,474299,00.html
04-08-2007, 08:51 AM,
Rumsfeld Lawsuit Embarrasses German Authorities
I guess we'll have to rely on Italy and Spain, and maybe the Netherlands.

I have a theory that governments like to look the other way when genocide and other acts occur because they might want to do the same in the future, and would like others to look the other way, too.

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