MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has decided genocide charges for seven current and former Moroccan officials accused of killings and torture in Western Sahara from 1975-1991 are justified and asked for them to be arrested and extradited to face trial in Spain.
Judge Pablo Ruz in a ruling Thursday said some alleged victims had Spanish ID cards because they had lived in Western Sahara when it was a Spanish colony.
His ruling said victims described being beaten, burned, electrocuted and sexually assaulted while under Moroccan custody after Spain left the colony and Morocco annexed it and fought against the pro-independence Polisario Front.
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Maria told reporters Friday that the government respects judicial decisions but did not say whether the administration would seek extradition of the suspects, who include former and current security officials and governors.
Morocco's government did not comment.