Bush cancels Swiss visit amid threats of protest, arrest

GENEVA: Former US president George W. Bush has cancelled a trip to Switzerland because of fears of growing protests, according to reports in the Tribune de Genève newspaper.

The Jewish organisation that had invited Bush for a Geneva gala event has cited growing protests as the reason for cancelling his visit, denying reports that the potential criminal investigations against the former president were a factor in the decision.

On Friday, Amnesty International "sent Genevoise and Swiss federal prosecutors a detailed factual and legal analysis of President Bush's criminal responsibility for acts of torture he is believed to have authorized," the group said Sunday.

"Amnesty International concluded that Switzerland had enough information to open a criminal investigation against the former president," the group added.

Under Switzerland's international obligations, if President Bush entered the country, such an investigation would be mandatory. The publication of his memoirs in November had showed that Bush had personally authorized the water-boarding of suspected terrorists, the group said.

This was to have been Bush's first trip to Europe since leaving office two years ago.


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