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US Lawyers to Seek Criminal Charges Against Rumsfeld in Germany


A U.S.-based advocacy group says it plans to seek criminal charges in a German court against outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for his alleged role in sanctioning torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.

In a statement Saturday, the Center for Constitutional Rights says it will file its criminal complaint against Rumsfeld in a German court Tuesday.

Attorneys for the group say the case will ultimately look at the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials authorizing war crimes in the war on terror. They say the complaint is related to a 2004 case that was dismissed.

The lawyers say the new case contains what it calls "substantial new evidence" and new circumstances following the resignation of Rumsfeld.

The U.S. Department of Defense has not commented.

Germany's universal jurisdiction law allows the country's courts to hear cases originating from anywhere in the world.

The group says it is representing one detainee held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and 11 Iraqis who were held at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

The complaint also seeks criminal prosecution of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former CIA Director George Tenet.

Rumsfeld resigned as Secretary of Defense on Wednesday, but he is expected to remain in the position until his proposed successor, Robert Gates, is approved by the U.S. Senate.

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