issued for him. On June 25, 1996, it was ordered that Col. Hernando Navas Rubio and Gen. Farouk Yanine Díaz appear to testify. The Commander of the Army asserted a jurisdictional dispute with the Human Rights Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor General. On November 26, 1996, the Superior Council of the Judiciary decided to transfer the investigation and trial of the members of the military implicated to the military courts. The victims' families were unable, it is argued, to appeal this decision. On June 18, 1997, the military judge of first instance halted the proceedings, so as to favor the officials called to testify. On March 17, 1998, the Superior Military Tribunal affirmed that ruling. 11. The petitioners have questioned the legality of the decision by the Superior Council of the Judiciary to transfer to the military courts the trial of the Army members called to testify in the investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor-General. They point out that the Colombian Constitution gives the Supreme Court of Justice jurisdiction in trials of Generals and Admirals of the Armed Forces and National Police once they have been indicted by the Office of the Prosecutor General. They consider that former Army Gen. Farouk Yanine Díaz, implicated in the proceedings for having planned the forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution, had to be tried by the Supreme Court of Justice, since the crimes of which he was accused had allegedly been committed when he was an Army general. They also allege that all the other members of the Army implicated in the trial by the Office of the Prosecutor General are retired from the military, and, therefore, under the Constitution, may only be investigated and tried by regular courts. They allege that the accused should have been tried in the regular courts, with the Prosecutor-General as accuser and the Supreme Court of Justice sitting in judgment. They consider, therefore, that the decision of the Judicial Council to transfer the case to the military courts violates domestic law. 12. In summary, petitioners allege that domestic remedies have not been effective in clarifying the facts and in bringing to trial and punishing the persons responsible. They consider that the State has failed to comply with its duty to judicially investigate the forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of the victims pursuant to the standards of the Convention. They allege that the nine-year investigation of the crimes committed has extended beyond a reasonable time without the persons responsible being punished. They allege that in this case, by transferring the investigation and trial of the retired military officers allegedly involved to the military courts, the State has denied the victims and their families the right to an impartial and independent trial and the right to judicial protection, thus they consider that domestic remedies have not been effective to redress the alleged violations. B. Position of the State 13. The State partially questioned the facts as presented by the petitioners. In the hearing held on October 6, 1998, the State argued that the alleged victims were involved in contraband-related activities and that they took a detour from their route not because of the shots allegedly coming from a military check-point, but precisely to elude the check-point. 14. The State has provided information on the status of the domestic proceedings, but has refrained from expressly calling into question compliance with the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies or petitioners' assertions regarding the effectiveness of the remedies pursued to clarify the case in the domestic jurisdiction. 15. As for trial of the officers with rank of general by the military jurisdiction, the State alleged that this measure was justified by the need not to delay "unnecessarily" the proceedings against the accused. 5 As for the responsibility of members of the Army in the facts of the case, the State noted that based on the judgments of the military criminal courts, while Gen. Yanine Díaz had participated in the formation of autodefensa groups, he was not aware of their criminal activities. In addition, it was alleged that at the time of the events he was serving as Director of the School of Advanced Studies of the Army and did not have official duties in the region. IV. ANALYSIS OF JURISDICTION AND ADMISSIBILITY 5 Judgment of the Superior Military Tribunal of March 17, 1998, p. 9. 3

Select target paragraph3