GARZON OPENS SECOND INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED U.S. TORTURE OF TERRORISM DETAINEES


Tuesday, 05 May 2009, 15:34
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000440 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
FOR EUR/WE, ALSO FOR L/LEI AND CA/OCS, DOJ FOR BRUCE SWARTZ 
AND PAT REEDY 
EO 12958 N/A 
TAGS AORC, PREL, CASC, CJAN, PTER, PGOV, PHUM, PINS, SOCI, 
KCRM, KJUS, SP 
SUBJECT: GARZON OPENS SECOND INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED 
U.S. TORTURE OF TERRORISM DETAINEES
REF: A. MADRID 392  B. MADRID 393  C. 08 MADRID 1280
MADRID 00000440 001.2 OF 002
¶1. (SBU) Summary: Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) 
investigating judge Baltasar Garzon has announced he will pursue
 an investigation into allegations the U.S. tortured terrorism 
detainees at Guantanamo. He has yet to name any targets of his
 investigation. This comes days after he was forced to give up
 a related complaint filed by an NGO against six Bush 
Administration officials (ref a). At the urging of 
Spanish prosecutors, the earlier case was reassigned 
to another National Court judge who now appears to
 be trying shelve the case. The Chief Prosecutor for
 the National Court tells us he will also fight Garzon’s 
latest move. Nevertheless, we suspect Garzon will wring 
all the publicity he can from the case unless and until 
he is forced to give it up. End summary.
¶2. (U) Garzon bowed to arguments by Spanish prosecutors
 and April 17 forwarded to National Court docketing 
authorities a case recently filed against six Bush
 Administration officials (ref a). That case was dul
y assigned to investigating judge Eloy Velasco.
 We learned May 5 that Velasco has declined to process 
that case saying that before moving forward the USG should
 be asked if proceedings are underway in the U.S. He also 
offered to transfer the proceedings to the U.S. under
 the MLAT. We are waiting for a copy of Velasco’s ruling 
and will advise further when we receive it. Meanwhile, 
Garzon announced April 29 that he was commencing a separate 
investigation into alleged U.S. torture of terrorism detainees.
¶3. (SBU) LEGATT and Embassy FSN Legal Advisor met May 4
 with National Court Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza 
(protect) to discuss Garzon’s latest move. 
Zaragoza said he had challenged Garzon directly and
 personally on this latest case, asking if he was 
trying to drum up more speaking fees. Garzon replied 
he was doing it for the record only and would let it die. 
Zaragoza opined that Garzon, having gotten his headline, 
would soon drop the matter. In case he does not, Zaragoza 
has a strategy to force his hand. Zaragoza’s strategy hinges
 on the older case in which Garzon investigated terrorism 
complaints against some Guantanamo detainees. 
In connection with those earlier investigations, Garzon
 ordered the Spanish police to visit Guantanamo and
 collect evidence against the suspected terrorists.
 Zaragoza reasons that he can use this fact to embarrass 
Garzon into dropping this latest case by suggesting Garzon
 in some sense condoned the U.S. approach to detainee issues 
circa 2004. Garzon took no action in 2004 when the suspects
 returned to Spain and reported to him their alleged mistreatment.
 Zaragoza said that if Garzon could not be shamed into
dropping the case, then he would formally recommend Garzon
 do so and appeal if Garzon ignored him.
¶4. (SBU) Key to Zaragoza’s plans is the fact that there 
is yet another Guantanamo-related case underway in the 
National Court. That case relates to so-called CIA flights 
carrying detainees to Guantanamo via Spain and is being 
heard by investigating Judge Ismael Moreno (ref c). 
The police officers whom Garzon sent to Guantanamo years
 ago are expected to testify before Moreno this month, 
and Zaragoza hopes their testimony will put on record 
Garzon’s role in the earlier cases. 
(Note: In opening his most recent Guantanamo investigation,
 Garzon asked that Moreno turn his detainee flights case 
over to him; Zaragoza thought there was no chance Moreno 
would agree to do so. End note.) Zaragoza is also banking 
on the fact that Garzon is already in hot water over his
 excessive zeal in another case. A few months ago, Garzon 
opened an investigation into Spanish civil war atrocities. 
Garzon persisted in his investigation in the face of all 
advice to the contrary from prosecutors.
 The case was finally wrestled away from Garzon, but there
 is now a criminal complaint against him in the Supreme Court,
 alleging abuse of authority. That complaint has the support 
of Spanish prosecutors. Zaragoza doubts Garzon will risk a 
second such complaint.
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3 comments on “GARZON OPENS SECOND INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED U.S. TORTURE OF TERRORISM DETAINEES

  1. Love the post, thanks keep up the good work! Bookmarked!. It’s hard to find knowledgeable individuals on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you’re talking about! Thanks great outstanding :).

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