Spanish Court Drops Probe Into Syrian Crimes

BEIRUT (AP) — A panel of top judges in Spain says the country’s courts have no jurisdiction to investigate the first foreign criminal case for torture and terrorism against the Syrian government.

Friday’s U-turn by Spain’s National Court is a setback for activists and human rights campaigners who had hailed the case as a stepping stone for accountability in Syria.

Judge Eloy Velasco was investigating the alleged role of nine Syrian intelligence and security officials in the disappearance and execution of a man in 2013.

The victim’s sister, a Spanish citizen, filed the case earlier this year. A court statement says the public prosecutor has won its appeal arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to judge the crimes.

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