Selective Justice: Spanish Court Seeks to Try Syrian Officials for Terrorism
A Spanish High Court Judge has made a controversial decision to open a case on charges of ‘state terrorism’ against several Syrian security officials.
Eloy Velasco, a Spanish High Court Judge, decided to review a lawsuit brought forward by Amal Hag-Hamdo Anfalis, a Spanish citizen who accused nine Syrian security officials of kidnapping, torturing and executing her brother, a Syrian national.
Despite the fact that the victim was not a Spanish citizen, Velasco argued that the nature of the case makes it subject to universal jurisdiction.
Professor Julio Jimenes, a Spanish blogger and notable mass media expert, told Sputnik that the judge’s decision to review this case is a mockery.
“First things first, the Spanish courts lack the necessary jurisdiction. And second, here’s what I’d like to ask: why didn’t Madrid take an interest in the killing of a Spanish journalist in Iraq in 2013 who was slain by US soldiers? Not to mention the fact that back then a number of legal measures were enacted to ensure that the Spanish justice system was unable to get involved in that case. All of this looks, shall we say, surprising,” he said.
Professor Jimenez also remarked that this decision looks “especially absurd” considering the fact that the Spanish legal system still remains reluctant to investigate the crimes committed “during the times of dictator Franco”, adding that “there are too many unpunished crimes here in Spain to meddle in the affairs of other countries.”
“Just think about it: a Spanish judge is going to review charges of terrorism against a government which is currently fighting against terrorism. His zeal would’ve been put to better use if he pursued the real extremists who are currently fighting in Syria against the legitimate government; or, even better, those who train and fund said extremists – namely, certain Western countries,” he said.
And finally, Professor Jimenez pointed out, this case may actually be a veiled attempt to derail the ongoing negotiations between Damascus and members of the Syrian opposition who seek to find a political solution to the crisis that is currently tearing apart their country.
“I can’t rule out the possibility that this decision may be an attempt to hamper the talks between the Syrian government and the opposition which began in Geneva,” Jimenez added.
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