November 2013: Important developments in Universal Jurisdiction case against Chinese leaders

Filed in Legal news, Universal jurisdiction by on November 28, 2013 0 Comments

Less than a month after the Spanish National Court indicted former Chinese President Hu Jintao on charges including crimes against humanity, torture and genocide against the people and country of Tibet, the same court has issued arrest warrants for four other ex-Chinese leaders accused within the same criminal case, including former President Jiang Zemin and former Prime Minister Li Peng.

“This is a significant step on the road to justice for the Tibetan people, and the legal team at CAT are again to be congratulated” said Executive Director of Tibet Justice Center, Iona Liddell, “Chinese political leaders may now realize that their presumed impunity does not extend beyond China’s borders. Under international law, all persons are equally liable to prosecution and punishment for such horrendous crimes”.

The Spanish National Court is the same body that ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.  These new orders mean that Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and three others named on the charge sheet may now risk arrest if they leave China. The Court’s decision also paves the way for their foreign bank accounts and assets to be frozen.

“In the eyes of the Spanish Court, which is acting under Spanish law and the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, the evidence of the grave charges against these ex-leaders is substantial enough for there to be a trial” explained Tibet Justice Center’s Board President Robert Sloane. “While these men may choose never to take the risk of travelling abroad and exposing themselves to arrest and extradition, this ruling has already impinged on their lives, and has put China’s current leaders on notice – responsibility for carrying out chronic human rights violations in Tibet can have serious personal consequences.”