MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has freed eight Syrians accused of drug trafficking, ruling that changes in the law governing arrests in international waters made it impossible to charge them.
The traffickers were arrested March 17 on a boat loaded with 12 tons of hashish in the Alboran Sea.
In the past, such arrests were made under Spain's universal jurisdiction law, which allowed detention of suspects outside of Spain's borders for serious crimes like genocide and human trafficking.
But National Court judge Javier Gomez Bermudez found on Friday that changes in the law meant the men needed to have some connection to Spain to face prosecution.
Changes in the universal jurisdiction law were made after another court in Spain sought to arrest leaders from China on allegations of genocide in Tibet.