13 abr. 2010

Some ultra-right groups presented an indictment of judge Baltasar Garzón--the same judge who had Pinochet arrested in England--and a judge of the Spanish Supreme Court is actually putting him on trial for this. Basically he could lose his job and be banned from the judiciary for life. His alleged misdeed was to take it upon himself to judge human rights abuses under Franco's regime.

Now some people think Garzón is a grand-standing publicity hound. He seems to be have a taste for high profile cases, whether in prosecuting human rights abuses, terrorism, organized crime, or political corruption. His taste for big targets makes him very controversial and has earned him a lot of enemies. I don't understand all the legal niceties of what he supposedly did wrong in going after Franquismo--"supposedly" because I don't believe he did anything wrong at all. Judging by the groups that brought him to the hot seat, I'd say he is doing something right.

In Spain a judge is more like a judge-prosecutor than an impartial judge in the Anglo-Saxon sense.