The international relations committee of the Consejo General de Poder Judicial (CGPJ), Spain’s highest judicial body, has provisionally put a stop to the High Court judge Santiago Pedraz travelling to Iraq to investigate the death of Telecinco cameraman José Couso.
He was shot by US troops at the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad on April 8, 2003. The judge has re-opened the investigation in to his death and intended to travel to the Iraqi capital to see the location of the tragedy for himself in October or November.
However before he can travel on such a mission the CGPJ has to give its permission which for the moment at least is not forthcoming. It remains to be seen whether the CGPJ will give the go-ahead after consultations with its Iraqi counterparts. A definitive decision is expected next week.
Judge Pedraz has issued an international find and capture arrest warrant for three US soldier who were manning the tank that fired at Couso. In the past the US has refused to hand the soldiers over and various Spanish courts have also declined to investigate the cameraman’s death. It could be the don’t go order is merely judicial red tape although the fear has to be it is yet another attempt to frustrate any effort to uncover the truth in this tragedy.
For a full back ground on this case click on my previous blog.