Rumsfeld Probe Sought in Germany

Associated Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

BERLIN, Nov. 14 -- Attorneys for inmates detained by the United States at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked German prosecutors Tuesday to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials for their alleged roles in abuse at the detention centers.

"We are not expecting that Rumsfeld will appear in a court, but we are hoping investigators will begin looking into the case," said Wolfgang Kaleck, a German lawyer involved in the suit. German federal prosecutors said they would examine the case.

The 220-page lawsuit, which also names 13 other U.S. officials, was sent to federal prosecutors under a German law that allows the prosecution of war crimes regardless of where they were committed. It alleges that Rumsfeld personally ordered and condoned torture.

The suit is brought on behalf of 12 alleged torture victims, 11 Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib and Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi being held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, who has been identified as a would-be participant in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said U.S. officials had not seen the complaint but suggested that it was "frivolous."

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