US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA director George Tennet no longer have reason to fear for their freedom should they decide on a trip to Germany. A state court in Stuttgart ruled Thursday that German federal prosecutor Kay Nehm is not required to prosecute the two men for war crimes in relation to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004. The court decided against a petition from a group of lawyers and human rights organizations called the Republican Lawyers Association, which was representing 17 alleged torture victims. The Stuttgart court said Nehm adequately evaluated the case and approved his refusal of it in February. At the time, Nehm said it was not up to a third state to prosecute the charges, as they are already being investigated in the United States. The group of lawyers criticized the decision, saying the US investigation deals only with a handful of low-ranking American soldiers, not any high-ranking officials and leaves the "victims of the worst crimes without any legal protection."
The business climate in Germany has rebounded after a drop in March caused by the Ukraine crisis. The rise in April has surprised analysts who expected another hit amid ongoing talk of sanctions against Russia.
Ukraine's interior ministry has said five pro-Russian militants were killed in a raid in the eastern town of Slovyansk. Kyiv has relaunched a military operation to oust separatists occupying several towns in the east.
French train maker Alstom has denied it has received an official offer for its shares from US engineering group General Electric. The denial, however, doesn’t silence takeover rumors reported earlier.