Continúa el apoyo internacional al juez Garzón. La noticia de abajo sugiere que puede tardar aún más tiempo en empezar el juicio del juez.
Suit Filed on Behalf of Spanish Judge
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 25, 2011
MADRID (AP) — A human rights group has filed suit in a European court on behalf of a Spanish judge who won international fame by indicting foreign dictators but who was indicted himself on charges that he exceeded his authority by investigating Spanish Civil War atrocities, the group said on Friday.
The group, Interights, which is based in London, filed the suit Thursday with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, on behalf of Judge Baltasar Garzón, who is internationally famous for cases in which he indicted, among others, the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden.
But he was suspended last May by a judicial oversight board after he lost an appeal seeking to dismiss his indictment by Spain’s Supreme Court. The indictment charged that he knowingly violated his jurisdiction by beginning a politically sensitive investigation in October 2008 into the execution or disappearance of more than 100,000 civilians at the hands of supporters of Gen. Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War or in the early years of the Franco dictatorship.
Until Judge Garzón’s investigations, there had been no official inquiry into such atrocities, which were covered by an amnesty granted by Spain’s Parliament in 1977, as the country moved toward reconciliation two years after Franco’s death.
Judge Garzón has denied any wrongdoing, but he was forced to abandon the investigation within a month and hand over to local authorities the task of exhuming unidentified bodies from mass graves. The suit against him was filed by a fringe far-right political group, Manos Limpias, or Clean Hands.
In its suit filed with the European court, Interights reiterates the judge’s argument that these were crimes against humanity and that a case body of international law says such crimes have no statute of limitations and cannot be covered by amnesty, according to a spokeswoman for the group, Sarah Harrington.
The suit also argues that Judge Garzón should not be punished just because of the way he has interpreted laws.
“Judges should not be punished for reasoned interpretation of the law,” Ms. Harrington said. “We see this as a threat to the independence of the judiciary. The potential chilling effect on other judges when they come to determine legally or politically controversial cases is obvious, and a serious threat to the rule of law.”
No date has been set for a trial because Judge Garzón’s legal team has challenged the impartiality of most of the seven judges who would oversee his trial. He has taken a temporary job at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The civil war case has been held up because, Ms. Harrington said, the Strasbourg court will probably take at least a year to issue a ruling, which would be binding for Spain.