International Core Crimes, Universal Jurisdiction and 153F German Criminal Procedure Code: A Commentary on the Decisions of the Federal Prosecutor General and the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court in the Abu Ghraib/Rumsfeld Case
Criminal Law Forum, Vol. 18, pp. 43-58, 2007
16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 14, 2007
From the entry into force of the German Code of Crimes against International Law (Vo¨lkerstrafgesetzbuch, hereinafter CCAIL), up until September 2006, there had been 57 petitions filed for alleged crimes codified in this law. Most of the petitions relate to the conflict in the Middle East, as well as the war in Iraq and its aftermath. These petitions target members of the United States, German and Israeli Governments, as well as members of Governments and Heads of States of various African and Asian States. So far, the initiation of the proceedings in 49 cases has been abstained in accordance with 152 subs. 153f subs. 1 and 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Strafprozessordnung, hereinafter CPC). These decisions have been either based on legal grounds (inter alia, immunity of the possible suspects, the non-applicability of the CCAIL at the time the alleged act was committed) or, as the case may be, on the lack of any prospects of success (153f subs. 1 clause [hereinafter cl.] 1 CPC). A formal investigation was only initiated in one case against a Rwandan citizen living in Germany as an asylum seeker for crimes committed on Congolese territory.
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