I found out about this yesterday. Apparently, a legal complaint that accuses former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of authorizing or ordering crimes of torture to be carried out, as well as other war crimes, has been filed in Paris.
Behind the accusation is an alliance of organisations, The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and two Paris-based groups, the International Federation of Human Rights and the League of Human Rights. The complaint will be investigated by the French authorities, and if they find there is enough basis for that complaint, Rumsfeld could find himself prosecuted for war crimes.
A person that has been accused of torture does not have to be a French national to be prosecuted in France, they only need to be on French soil.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has filed complaints with other European courts as well, and a spokesman says they will continue to do so, since no one in the US, “not even the Congress” is willing to investigate the Bush administration’s torture of Iraqi war prisoners, or of the detainees in the Guantanamo Bay prison. Since the United States still refuses to join the International Criminal Court, Hague is not an option ether.
That the French courts are willing to consider this and investigate the matter makes me happy. The way in which Rumsfeld at last has managed to unite old American and European allies against an enemy without conscience or morals, amuses me. Finally, at long last, someone is calling him and the entire administration on their bullshit.