Spain Demands Iraqi PM Appear in Camp Ashraf Probe

Posted July 14th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A Spanish judge has announced plans to question Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and three Iraqi military officers in a probe into the deaths of 34 people at an Iranian exiles' camp in Iraq.

Judge Fernando Andreu announced his intentions this week to question the four in connection to a deadly Iraqi military raid at Camp Ashraf in April.

Spain launched an independent probe into the incident under the universal justice doctrine which it says allows it to prosecute grave crimes committed in other countries.

Under the Spanish ruling, Mr. Maliki will be “automatically summoned” to appear before the court when his term as prime minister ends and his judicial immunity expires. The judge has ordered the three military officers to appear before the court in October.

There was no response from the Iraqi government.

In April, U.N. investigators said 34 people were killed in an Iraqi raid on the camp, which houses members of the Iranian dissident movement the People's Mojahedin.

Iraq said its forces moved in after stone-throwing residents provoked soldiers. Iraqi hospital officials said only 10 people were killed during the incident.

The Spanish probe is an extension of its earlier investigation into the 2009 deaths of 11 Iranian exiles living at the camp.

Iran, Iraq and the U.S. consider the People's Mojahedin a terrorist organization. Members of the group are accused of helping former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein repress his opponents inside Iraq.