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Spanish judge opens Guantánamo investigation

Baltasar Garzón is bringing the case based on 'universal jurisdiction,' in which serious crimes can be tried outside national borders.

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Spanish investigative judge Baltasar Garzón, known in international legal circles for his efforts to extradite Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, said Tuesday that he will open a preliminary investigation into the creation of the Guantánamo camp.

If followed through, the investigation could bring out in a European court many of the materials already uncovered in the United States – through congressional committee hearings, recently declassified CIA memos, and media outlets – on the sanctioning of extreme methods of interrogation that have widely been called "torture."

Judge Garzón, known as "the superjudge" in Spain for his high-profile indictments, appears to be focused less on those in the US who carried out extreme measures, and more on the conceptual legal "framers" of then-secret memos that enabled the interrogations.

The scope of Garzón's filing includes "any of those that executed and/or designed a systematic plan of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of the prisoners [at Guantánamo] that were under their custody."


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