On Tuesday, Judge Pablo Ruz at the Spanish National Court defied pressure to scrap a probe into alleged torture in the United States prison camp in Guantanamo Bay which targets former U.S. president George W. Bush.
In a written decision, Judge Ruz refused to scrap the case despite a recent reform to restrict such human rights probes in Spain.
In 2009, the Spanish courts agreed to probe charges brought by four ex-Guantanamo prisoners who say they were tortured during their detention in the camp between 2002 and 2005.
Cited in the charges include Bush, US former vice president Dick Cheney and ex-defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
A new law in Spain says courts can only probe atrocities committed abroad if the suspects are Spanish but Ruz said in Tuesday’s judgement that Spain had an “obligation” under international treaties to investigate alleged atrocities even if the suspects were not Spanish.