On Friday, while former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld was visiting France, human rights groups based there and in the United States filed complaints against him, charging him with approving torture:
Rumsfeld is accused of authorizing torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The French complaint accuses Mr. Rumsfeld of authorizing torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and says it violated the Convention Against Torture, which came into force in 1987.
As part of their complaint, the groups submitted 11 pages of written testimony from Janis Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer to be punished in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. She was demoted to colonel from brigadier general and lost command of her military police unit. She contended that the abuses at the prison had started after the appearance of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was sent by Mr. Rumsfeld to assist military intelligence interrogators.
French prosecutors were said to have the power to pursue the case while Rumsfeld was in the country.
One source cites unconfirmed reports that Rumsfeld was abruptly whisked away from a breakfast meeting on Friday in order to avoid his arrest:
U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years.
Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.
The report said Rumsfeld fled to Germany because similar charges were dismissed against him there in the spring.The German court ruled that Rumsfeld’s criminality was an internal matter for the United States.