Reuters: Spanish judge starts Guantanamo torture probe

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Spanish judge starts Guantanamo torture probe

Last updated 07:00 30/04/2009

A Spanish judge has started a criminal investigation into suspected torture of detainees in the base at Guantanamo and said he would target both US military personnel and those who issued their orders.

Judge Baltasar Garzon, who once tried to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, said he based his case on testimony in his court by four former Guantanamo detainees who complained of physical and mental abuse at the base in Cuba.

He called Guantanamo a legal "limbo" and as such fell under universal jurisdiction, allowing him to investigate what went on in the base which US President Barack Obama has promised to close.

Garzon became internationally famous for his pursuits of Pinochet and Argentine military officers, which set precedents for the principle that certain serious crimes can be prosecuted anywhere in the world...