RealNews

Mexico gives boost to universal jurisdiction

Spain’s extradition of an Argentine accused of war crimes is a first for ‘third country’ prosecution. Mexico has handed human rights groups a major victory in what has been a long – and, until now, losing – battle for “universal jurisdiction,” the principle that gross rights violations may be tried by courts outside the country where the crime took place. Last week, the Supreme Court here upheld a ruling to extradite a former Argentine military official wanted in Spain for alleged atrocities he committed in Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s. Ricardo Miguel Cavallo faces prosecution for murders and abductions that took place when he was a Navy lieutenant in Buenos Aires, and worked in the Navy Mechanical School, one of the most notorious centers of repression during Argentina’s so-called Dirty War. He will be sent to Spain in the next week. “This will be the first time that one country extradites a person to another to stand crimes for something that happened in a third,” says Reed Brody, a prosecutor at Human Rights Watch and an expert on universal jurisdiction. Full Story

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