Viewing cable 07MADRID1000, SPAIN/COUSO CASE: JUDGE REJECTS CHIEF PROSECUTOR'S
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|07MADRID1000||2007-05-24 16:04||2010-12-07 21:09||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Madrid|
VZCZCXRO5789 PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV DE RUEHMD #1000 1441630 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 241630Z MAY 07 FM AMEMBASSY MADRID TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2607 INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0170 RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 2740 RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS MADRID 001000 SIPDIS SENSITIVE SIPDIS EUR/WE FOR ALLEGRONE, CLEMENTS AND CERVETTI L/LEI FOR PROPP, KULISH, AND JOHNSON E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR SP SUBJECT: SPAIN/COUSO CASE: JUDGE REJECTS CHIEF PROSECUTOR'S APPEAL; CASE MOVES ON TO APPEALS TRIBUNAL REF: A. MADRID 910 ¶B. MADRID 899 ¶C. MADRID 800 AND OTHERS ¶1. (SBU) On May 24 Spanish investigative magistrate Judge Santiago Pedraz rejected the appeal of National Court Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza to drop the charges against three U.S. servicemen accused of killing Spanish television cameraman Jose Couso during a firefight in Baghdad in April ¶2003. Despite the rejection by Judge Pedraz, this case will proceed to the National Court appeals tribunal, which will rule on the merits of the arguments put forth by Pedraz and by the National Court prosecutors. As we reported in REFTEL A, Zaragoza contacted us on May 14 to report that he had appealed the Pedraz decision to file formal charges against the three servicemen, saying that his technical and legal review of the facts led him to conclude that the killing of Couso was not intentional, and therefore the soldiers could not be charged with war crimes or murder. In today's ruling Judge Pedraz claimed to be surprised by Zaragoza's appeal, as the National Prosecutors Office did not oppose his initial ruling to reactivate arrest warrants for the servicemen and therefore tacitly agreed with the case. ¶2. (SBU) Comment. Today's ruling by Pedraz was not a surprise as judges do not normally change their original ruling after an appeal based on the technical or legal review of the National Court Prosecutors Office. This case, as we expected, will now be forwarded to the Criminal Division of the National Court. Post will continue to report on this case as it develops. LLORENS