Belarus leader bristles at criminal complaint in Germany

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus’ authoritarian leader has bristled at a criminal complaint filed against him in Germany over his violent crackdown on protests that broke out after his disputed re-election in August. President Alexander Lukashenko charged that “heirs of fascism” were in no position to judge him. This week, four German lawyers said they have filed a complaint against Lukashenko with Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe on behalf of 10 Belarusians alleging torture. They cited universal jurisdiction laws that allow Germany to prosecute crimes against humanity committed anywhere. Lukashenko last year unleashed a harsh crackdown on mass protests that demanded he step down. More than 34,000 people were arrested and many of them were brutally beaten.