On 12 October 2016, supported by ECCHR and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) two former Guantánamo detainees Nizar Sassi and Mourad Benchellali urged a French judge to subpoena William "Jim" Haynes, the former General Counsel for the US Department of Defense (DOD) during the George W. Bush administration. Haynes was DOD's General Counsel from 2001-2008 and worked closely with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during his tenure.
Already on 1 March 2016, retired US General Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantánamo prison chief, was a no-show in a French court. Miller had been summoned to answer questions stemming from accusations that he oversaw the torture of three French nationals at Guantánamo prison. By summoning Miller, the Court granted a petition by Sassi and Benchellali. ECCHR partner lawyer William Bourdon together with the families of the two men lodged a criminal complaint in November 2002 based on claims of torture, abuse and arbitrary detention. Since then, French authorities have been investigating the US torture program.