Spanish National Court Hears Expert Testimony in the Jesuits Massacre Case

On November 24, 2009, the Center for Justice & Accountability, alongside lawyers from the Pro Human Rights Association of Spain (APDHE), began to present expert testimony in the Jesuits Massacre Case.  Witnesses included Stanford University Professor of Latin American Studies Terry Karl and Senior Analyst at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., Kate Doyle.  Two Salvadoran witnesses, whose names are being withheld for security reasons, also testified.

CJA and APDHE filed the case before the Spanish National Court on November 13, 2008, against 14 former Salvadoran Military officers for their roles in the killing of six Jesuit priests, their cook and her 16-year-old daughter.  National Court Judge Ignacio Velasco agreed to hear the case, which marks the first universal jurisdiction case filed in Spain where a complaint has the unanimous support of the Spanish prosecutor’s office.

In another development, Salvadoran Supreme Court President José Belarmino Jaime said on November 17, 2009 that he would send the defendants’ current addresses to the Spanish National Court in response to Judge Velasco’s request, so that defendants could be adequately served with the complaint.

“This first round of testimony in Spain seeks justice on behalf of the victim’s relatives and for the people of El Salvador,” said CJA attorney Almudena Bernabeu.  “Guaranteeing justice and respect for the dignity of all the victims of the past is the only way that El Salvador can make the transition towards reconciliation and a stronger society.”

Click here to read CJA’s full press release.