Tags: feith | torture | gitmo

Bush Adviser Feith: Spanish Torture Indictment Outrageous

Tuesday, 31 Mar 2009 05:28 AM

A former top U.S. government advisor who faces possible indictment in Spain for his role in establishing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp described the case against him as "outrageous."

Douglas Feith, a key adviser in president George W. Bush's Pentagon, told Fox News that moves before a Spanish court to indict him for facilitating torture were an effort to "intimidate US government officials."

A Spanish non-governmental group has called for six Bush-era advisors to be prosecuted, including Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and a top aide to vice president Dick Cheney.

The case is being considered by high-profile Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzon, who is famous for his prosecution of human rights cases.

Spanish law applies the principle of "universal jurisdiction," allowing courts to reach beyond national borders in cases of torture, terrorism or war crimes.

The case may take on extra weight in Spain because Spanish citizens were among those detained at the Guantanamo facility, which Bush set up to keep so-called terror suspects.

Although US President Barack Obama has vowed to close the camp within the next 12 months and denounced waterboarding as torture, he has shied away from calls to prosecute Bush-era officials.

But the case could put the Obama administration in a tight political spot, fueling calls from fellow Democrats that he moves to investigate perceived Bush-era wrongs.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.


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