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China pans High Court for reopening Tibet inquiry

Former President Hu Jintao investigated for alleged human rights abuses during his time as Communist chief in disputed territory

Agencies

China on Monday denounced the Spanish High Court's decision to reopen an investigation into former Chinese President Hu Jintao for genocide as part of an ongoing inquiry into alleged abuses committed in Tibet under his tenure.

Last week, the High Court's criminal chamber agreed to hear an appeal filed by a Tibetan advocacy group, which charged that Hu supported genocidal policies when he was Communist Party chief for the region from 1988 to 1992.

The judges on the panel decided to reopen the case when it determined that one of the victims listed in the complaint was a Spaniard. Under international pressure from several countries, including China, Spanish lawmakers in 2009 curbed the High Court's powers as regards the universal justice doctrine, only allowing judges to take on cases related to Spain — where the victims or alleged perpetrators are Spanish.

"We firmly oppose any country or person attempting to use this issue to interfere with China's internal affairs," said Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman during a regular briefing on Monday. She accused the group of trying to damage the "extremely friendly" relations between Spain and China.

"The Tibetan group's purpose is extremely obvious and its political motives are sinister: to destroy the relations between China and the relevant country and to attack China," Reuters quoted her as saying.

The advocacy group also stated that Hu Jintao also continued to support genocide in Tibet after he became president in 2003.

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