The german federal prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute a former Uzbek minister: missed opportunity or prosecutorial wisdom?
Title: The german federal prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute a former Uzbek minister: missed opportunity or prosecutorial wisdom?
Author: ZAPPALA, Salvatore A.
Citation: Journal of international criminal justice, 2006, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 602-622
ISSN: 1478-1395; 1478-1387
At the end of 2005, reports indicated that the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan was in Germany to receive medical treatment. Victims of crimes allegedly committed by troops under his control filed a complaint against him with the competent German authorities. Meanwhile the suspect left Germany. On grounds of his absence the Federal Prosecutor refused to open official proceedings based on universal jurisdiction in absentia and dropped the case. While this decision might be considered prudent in that it foregoes ‘purely symbolic prosecution’, it is problematic in so far it leaves the pursuit of justice at the mercy of considerations of policy and expediency that run counter to the spirit of the German Code of Crimes Against International Law.
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