In Germany, CIA Official Charged With Torture | Jean Boulle Luxury |

Germany’s Code of Crimes against International Law, which came into effect in 2002, makes Germany one of few countries that allow prosecutors to investigate human rights crimes committed abroad; the accused is not required to be present in Germany. German prosecutors could, in other words, pursue cases of human rights abuse linked to CIA officials in Afghanistan and Guantánamo even if the crimes have minimal connection to Germany. “The critical question is the political will,” said Ward. “Are the prosecutors willing to go where the evidence takes them? Private investigations by groups like the ECCHR are unlikely to directly lead to prosecutions, because state interests are involved. But NGOs’ efforts to bring these abuses to light have encouraged prosecutors to open investigations.” Frauke Köhler, the spokeswoman for the German federal prosecutor’s office, said that officials began reviewing potential cases as soon as the Senate torture report was released. “The ECCHR’s criminal complaint is part of this investigation,” Köhler explained.