Spanish Government Issues International “Find and Capture” Arrest Warrant for Three U.S. Soldiers on Homicide Charges…

The US tank crew wanted for murder

David Eade
Morning Star [UK]
09 August 2010

The Spanish government wants a three-man US army tank crew to stand trial for the death of cameraman Jose Couso in Baghdad in 2003.

High Court judge Santiago Pedraz has issued three international arrest warrants for the soldiers after they fired at the Telecinco employee, fatally wounding him.

The judge is confident that Barack Obama’s administration will want to co-operate with the investigation. But while Washington is quick to criticise other nations’ non-compliance with what it deems justice, it has no enthusiasm for handing over its citizens to be subject to foreign justice systems – just ask the people of Bhopal.

Pedraz acted after the Supreme Court decided at the beginning of July to reopen the investigation into Couso’s death. The highest court in Spain accepted an appeal made by Couso’s family in the case that had been archived by the High Court in July last year.

The judge has now issued a “find and capture” warrant for the tank crew on the basis that “they can be deemed to have committed a crime against the international community,” which amounts to homicide.

Pedraz has also decided to form a judicial commission to ascertain the exact circumstances surrounding Couso’s death.

The magistrate will head the investigation and will visit the zones of the Jamurohaora Bridge from which the US tank fired, the Hotel Palestine where Reuters, Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV had their offices, plus any other places deemed to be relevant.

The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed that the detention order has been sent to Interpol via the Policia Nacional. This means that nations which are members of the Interpol network are obliged to detain the three troopers if they are in their jurisdiction…

…The court points out that these events occurred under the previous US administration of president George W Bush, whose government refused to co-operate with previous Spanish investigations, but Pedraz hopes Obama’s attitude will be more positive.

It is the third time that Spain has issued arrest warrants for Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford and Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp.

Couso was killed on April 8 2003 when he was hit by a shell from a US Mark I Abrams tank that fired at the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad, which at the time was a civil zone and used by reporters…

The article continues at Morning Star which is the only English-language socialist daily newspaper still in publication.

H/T Weasel Zippers

Comments are closed.