Spain court drops complaint against Syrian security forces

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 21, 2017 8:44 AM

MADRID (Reuters) - One of Spain's highest courts on Friday said it was dropping a criminal complaint brought against members of the Syrian security and intelligence forces by a woman seeking justice for her brother, ruling that it lacked jurisdiction over the case.

A judge from the Madrid-based High Court had agreed to investigate the lawsuit in March, in the first case against Syrian security forces taken up overseas.

But a higher panel within the High Court ruled on Friday that the investigation should be dropped, after an appeal by Spain's state prosecutors.

The complaint was raised by a Spaniard who said her brother was arrested, tortured and executed in 2013 at a center in Damascus under the control of Syrian security forces.

The woman's legal representatives, London-based Guernica 37, could not immediately be contacted for comment.

She brought her complaint after identifying her brother from a cache of more than 50,000 photos smuggled out of the country by a Syrian forensics officer of more than 6,000 people who had been tortured and mutilated.

Under Spanish law, the examining magistrate investigates accusations brought in a criminal complaint before moving into a trial phase.

(Reporting by Sarah White; Writing by Paul Day)