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German court affirms dismissal of war crimes complaint against Rumsfeld

[JURIST] A German state court in Stuttgart ruled Thursday that a federal prosecutor is not required to bring war crimes charges against US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in connection with abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] in 2003 and 2004. Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm [official profile in German] dismissed the complaint in February [JURIST report] on the grounds that law only allows such a prosecution if the US fails to act. Rumsfeld cancelled a planned trip to Germany [JURIST report] in January while the case was pending. The suit [PDF complaint] was originally brought by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] and four Iraqi citizens in November 2004 under the German court's doctrine of universal jurisdiction [JURIST report]. Deutsche Welle has more.

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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.

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