France Axes Veteran General Who Admitted to War Crimes in Algeria
The French government on Wednesday ordered the immediate retirement of General Paul Aussaresses, who had admitted to the use of torture and summary execution in the Algerian war in the late 1950s, reported the official Kuwait news agency (KUNA).
The order against the 82-year-old general, who is still a serving member of the military reserve, was ordered by the French cabinet, headed by President Jacques Chirac.
The president had called on the defense minister to propose disciplinary action that could be taken against the general after he published a book on his service in Algeria, said KUNA.
Aussaresses, who was head of the French intelligence services in the late 1950s, admitted that thousands of suspected militants were tortured during interrogation by the French.
Aussaresses also admitted to having personally been responsible for summary executions of leading Algerian fighters.
The disciplinary measure order follows a decision by Chirac to strip Aussaresses of the Legion of Honor, one of the country’s highest awards, the agency added.
There have been calls from several quarters to put Aussaresses on trial for torture and crimes against humanity, but these are not supported by the political establishment in Paris, KUNA said.
A number of human rights organizations have filed complaints against Aussaresses and want him tried for crimes he committed – Albawaba.com