The following text is from the family’s website:
Statement by Family of José Couso and the collective of Family, Friends and Colleagues of Jose Couso (HAC) on the International Arrest Warrant and the Prosecutor’s Appeal.
Madrid, October 20, 2005
On October 19, 2005, the judge Santiago Pedraz of the Spanish National Court ordered an international arrest warrant for the purpose of extradition against the three US soldiers accused of the murder of cameraman José Couso on April 8, 2003 in the Hotel Palestine, in response to the suit brought against these soldiers by José’s family.
The soldiers in question are the following: Sergeant Thomas Gibson, part of Alpha Company of the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment of the Third Infantry Division of the US Army. From a tank, Sergeant Gibson fired the lethal round at the Hotel Palestine.
Captain Philip Wolford, commander of Alpha Company, 4th Battallion, 64th Armor Company of the Third Infantry Division of the US Army. Wolford authorized the attack on the Palestine.
Lt. Col. Philip Decamp, commander of the Fourth Battalion, 64th Armor Company, Third Infantry Division of the US Army. Decamp ordered the attack.
On the basis of the legal arguments concerning the facts in the suit presented by the Couso family, Judge Pedraz has accused the US soldiers of a crime against the international community pursuant to article 611.1 of the Spanish Penal Code, under article 608 of the Penal Code, said crime having been committed against a civilian protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocol I and for the crime of murder as defined and sanctioned in article 139 of the Penal Code.
The ruling of the Court was prompted by both the grave nature of the acts in question, which carry long prison sentences, and the non-existent cooperation from US authorities to two requests for legal cooperation issued by the Court, on April 21, 2004 and June 6, 2005, respectively, where said cooperation was requested for the purpose of taking statements from the defendants. This lack of cooperation is in violation of the Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Spain and the United States dated Sept 20, 1990.
This historic decision constitutes a milestone in the struggle against the impunity of US armed forces in their ongoing violations of international humanitarian law. One can only hope that the Spanish government will fulfill its duty, and take all necessary measures to enforce the international arrest warrant with the utmost diligence possible.
We regret the position taken by the Spanish prosecutor’s office. Once again, it is using every means within its reach to prevent an independent investigation and criminal accounting for the death of a Spanish citizen. The government-appointed Spanish Attorney General says that he “supports the Couso family,” even though he is seeking to close off the only real avenue for achieving justice in the case of José’s murder. In doing so, he is ignoring the arguments of the Spanish Constitutional Court, which has upheld the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute crimes that affect the international community. In contrast, the Attorney General supported the principle of universal jurisdiction in the case of Guatemala.
The meeting is being hosted by Manchester Anarchist Federation