Germany's federal prosecutor will not pursue a criminal complaint accusing US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of war crimes in Iraq.
Even though a German law requires German prosecutors to investigate allegations of war crimes even if they are not committed by Germans or in Germans, German Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said US authorities bore the initial responsibility to do so.
He added that his office could only act if US officials failed to do so, but said this was not the case. A US organization called Center for Constitutional Rights had filed the complained against Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials in Germany for the role they played in torture and abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Will Rumsfeld come to Munich?
It was still unclear on Thursday whether Rumsfeld, who is currently in Nice, France for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, would now attend Munich's international Conference on Security Policy, which is scheduled to begin on Friday.
Conference organizers said on Wednesday that Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, will attend the conference, which will be guarded by around 4,000 police officers. No fewer than eight demonstrations are planned around the venue, police said.
The annual meeting was scheduled to open in Munich on Friday with an emphasis on hopes for peace in the Middle East and the role of the United Nations.
Annan gets award
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will attend the three-day conference for the first time. He will be presented with the conference's Peace Plaque awarded to international personalities who stand for special peace initiatives reflecting the motto of the conference, "Peace through Dialogue."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer will also attend the conference, as will NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
Italian film "La Grande Bellezza" (The Great Beauty) has claimed four European Film Awards, including best film and a best actor award for Toni Servillo. This year's ceremony was held in Berlin.
At a conference in Bali, the World Trade Organization has agreed on a package to liberalize global trade. Experts see this as a chance to boost growth but caution that further steps are needed in the future.
Critics describe the Bali WTO agreement as a defeat in the global fight against hunger. But it was about much more than just Indian wheat or rice. And in the end it is still a success, says DW's Rolf Wenkel.