Spanish judge orders former Chinese president's arrest over Tibet killings

Madrid, Feb 10 (EFE).- Spanish National Court Judge Ismael Moreno on Monday ordered the capture, arrest and imprisonment of five former communist Chinese leaders, including former President Jiang Zemin, for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity in Tibet.

The judge was complying with established procedure, given that the high court - known as the Audiencia Nacional - urged last November that international arrest orders be issued for the five.

"Jiang Zemin exercised supervisory authority over the people who directly committed ... abuses, which makes him responsible for acts of torture and other significant abuses of human rights perpetrated by his subordinates against the Tibetan people," the judge wrote in his ruling.

In addition to Jiang's arrest, Moreno ordered Interpol to arrest Li Peng, China's prime minister in the late 1980s and early 1990s; Qiao Shi, the former chief of Chinese security and head of the police; Chen Kuiyuan, the secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in Tibet from 1992 to 2001; and Peng Pelyun, the country's family planning minister during the 1980s.

The whereabouts of the five are unknown, the judge said in the respective rulings and the international arrest orders.

The arrest orders for the former Chinese officials, which last November caused "strong discomfort" within the Chinese government, came a day before Spain's Parliament begins debate on a proposition to tighten the conditions under which a Spanish judge may investigate crimes committed outside the national territory.

The National Court is a special and exceptional high court with jurisdiction over all of the Spanish territory, as well as over international crimes which come under the competence of Spanish courts.