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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Rumsfeld cancels Germany trip under war crimes cloud
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:44 PM ET

[JURIST] US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] has canceled plans to fly to Germany in February to attend the Munich Conference on Security Policy [official website], giving rise to speculation that the cancellation is connected with a war crimes complaint [JURIST report] brought against him in the German courts in November and currently under investigation by the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe. The lawsuit, launched by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website], accuses Rumsfeld of responsibility for torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. German law permits war crimes prosecution of individuals in Germany notwithstanding their nationality. After the complaint [English translation, PDF; CCR backgrounder] was filed Rumsfeld indicated that he would not come to the Munich conference unless it were dropped or dismissed. Deutsche Press Agentur has more.

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