Sunday, February 18, 2007

The problems with legal limbo.

Spain and the US seem to have had a bigger falling out over the Iraqi War than I thought. It seems that their main ringleader in the plot which is in trial at the moment is held by the US and they are refusing access. Read here.

One of the downsides, for all but the US, with this suspension of even the pretence of justice and fair play is that these people don't get to have their day in court. They are held at the beck and call of the US and have no recourse to any legitimate legal system.

Now it appears that there is an additional impact. As a trial is taking place and this guy has not been interrogated by the Spanish at all. His testimony could make a significant difference to the Spanish case and for all we know the guys in court could be innocent and this guy clearly has information.

In addition it could be that this guy may have only committed real crimes in Spain. Yet he will be tried in the US with their punishment system and with limited legal representation and negligible defence capabilities.

What a farce. Although I can see this working to our advantage. Spain should take this to the EU courts. The EU should make an edict that any EU member cannot extradite anyone to the US and cancel our one way agreement.

An interesting comment by a reader was that Spain has reduce the Basque terrorists sentences to mere trifles and that there was no guarantee that they wouldn't do the same in this case. So, think about that, what they are saying is that a crime committed in Spain needs to be punished the same as the US would do or they won't allow access. So they will keep him in limbo until they are ready to make a case or not rather than pass him to Spain for punishment for a crime he has committed.

There is something far wrong here and yet the UK seems to think this is OK. Makes no sense to me whatsoever and stinks of bully boy tactics with no link to justice at all. Sadly, and I hate to say this, it seems that the democrats may be the ones who have to sort this out.


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