Spain prosecutor requests arrest warrants for CIA rendition agents

[JURIST] A lawyer from the Spanish National Court Office of the Prosecutor on Wednesday petitioned judge Ismael Moreno to issue arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents who allegedly kidnapped a German citizen of Lebanese descent in 2003 as part of the Bush administration's extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program. Khaled el-Masri [JURIST news archive] claims that the CIA kidnapped him while he was traveling to Macedonia in 2003 and transported him to a secret detention facility in Afghanistan where he was held for four months. The Office of the Prosecutor alleges [WP report] that the court has jurisdiction to issue the warrants because the agents made a stop in Spanish territory using hidden identities without official Spanish government authorization to do so. Spanish newspaper El Pais published [text, in Spanish] the names of the alleged CIA agents in a recent story, also reporting that National Court Prosecutor Vicente Gonzalez Mota has petitioned the court to subpoena the London human rights organization Reprieve [advocacy website] to corroborate the agent names.

In 2008, el-Masri petitioned [ACLU materials; JURIST report] the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] to open an investigation of human rights violations by the US, alleging that he was tortured by the CIA. In 2007, the US Supreme Court rejected [JURIST report] without comment el-Masri's petition for certiorari, ostensibly supporting the Bush administration's contention that allowing el-Masri's federal lawsuit to proceed would require the revelation of state secrets. Also in 2007, the German Justice Ministry said that it would not press a formal request [JURIST report] to extradite the 13 CIA agents suspected of participating in el-Masri's alleged rendition after the Bush administration informed them it would not comply with a such a request despite a 2006 German investigation that concluded there was no evidence to disprove el-Masri's allegations.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.