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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Spain high court to rule on Tibetan genocide
Andrew Wood at 3:54 PM ET

[JURIST] Spain's National Court (Audiencia Nacional) [official backgrounder] said Tuesday it will investigate whether seven former Chinese leaders committed genocide and other crimes in Tibet. The genocide suit was filed last June by three Tibet support groups and thrown out in September. Since then, however, Spain's Constitutional Court [official website] has invoked the principle of universal jurisdiction [Amnesty backgrounder], ruling that foreign genocide cases can be tried in Spain - even if the victims were not Spaniards - providing that no charges are pending against defendants in their country of origin. The National Court itself applied universal juridiction [JURIST report] last April in the case of a former Argentine naval officer who was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 640 years in prison. The Spanish Committee to Support Tibet [advocacy website] is seeking charges against China's former president Jiang Zemin, former Prime Minister Li Peng, and five others, avoiding current leaders who might enjoy immunity because they are still in power. AP has more.

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