Rumsfeld Avoiding War Crimes Lawsuit


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday he may skip a trip to a security conference in Germany next week because of a lawsuit there accusing him of war crimes.

"It's something that we have to take into consideration," he said when asked whether the suit was a factor in weighing whether to attend the Munich Conference on Security Policy, an annual gathering of government defense officials and lawmakers, where an address by the U.S. defense secretary is typically a highlight.

Attorneys from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a suit with German prosecutors last November charging that U.S. officials, including Rumsfeld, are responsible for acts of torture against detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Rumsfeld also skipped the conference in 2002, sending his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, instead.

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