[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/13/enemy.combatant/art.gitmo.gi.jpg caption="A Spanish judge Thursday ordered an investigation into harsh treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay under the Bush administration."]
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - A Spanish judge Thursday ordered an investigation into harsh treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay under the Bush administration on suspicion
that there was "an authorized and systematic plan for torture," according to a court document.
The case involves four former Guantanamo prisoners - a Spaniard, a Moroccan, a Palestinian and a Lebanese - who testified before the judge, Baltasar Garzon, that they had been tortured while held at the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Two of the four were acquitted in Spain of terrorism charges, while similar charges against two others were shelved, according to the 10-page court order from Judge Garzon on Thursday, viewed by CNN.
The judge wrote there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation, based on the testimony from the four, plus news media reports about newly-declassified U.S. government documents.
The declassified U.S. documents, he wrote, revealed "an authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties."
The alleged plan at Guantanamo and other prisons, including a detention facility at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, "acquire almost an official and therefore generate penal responsibility in the different structures of execution - command, design and authorization of this systematic plan of torture," the judge wrote.
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - A Spanish judge moved Friday to keep alive an investigation into six former Bush administration officials for alleged torture of prisoners at the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Cuba.
He acted just hours after prosecutors urged the case to be dropped, according to a court document.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/13/enemy.combatant/art.gitmo.gi.jpg caption= "The complaint alleges the six former officials were the legal architects of a system that allowed torture of prisoners at Guantanamo."]
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - Prosecutors will recommend that a Spanish court drop its investigation of six former Bush administration officials for alleged torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Spain's attorney general said Thursday.
The claim against the former officials, presented by a human rights group and provisionally accepted last month at the court - pending an opinion from the prosecutors – threatens to turn the court "into a toy in the hands of people who are trying to do a political action," Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido said at a meeting at a downtown Madrid hotel.
"We undoubtedly cannot support that action," Conde-Pumpido said, adding that prosecutors would seek to avoid having the court "converted into a toy in the hands of people who seek a certain notoriety or who are trying to take a political action" within the Spanish judicial system.
If alleged torture at Guantanamo is going to be investigated at all, that should be done first in the United States, so that the former American officials would have a chance to defend themselves there, Conde-Pumpido added, according to his press chief, Fernando Noya.