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The Spanish judge who went after Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden was indicted Wednesday for alleged abuse of power in a probe of Spanish civil war atrocities.
Luciano Varela, an investigating magistrate at the Spanish Supreme Court, charged Baltasar Garzon with knowingly acting without jurisdiction by launching a probe in 2008 of tens of thousands of wartime executions and disappearances of civilians.
If convicted, Garzon could be removed from the bench for 10 to 20 years, although he does not face jail time. A conviction would effectively end Garzon’s career as a judge, his attorney has said.
…Garzon is a hero to leftists and international human rights groups like Amnesty International, but a headline-loving egotist with a grudge against the right in the eyes of Spanish conservatives.
via Spain’s Judge Garzon Charged With Abuse of Power – NYTimes.com.
The NYT conveniently forgets why Spanish conservatives don’t support Garzón. He left his position as a Judge, already an important one, in 1993 to be socialist candidate no. 2 only after ex-President Felipe González for Madrid (just in case, someone doesn’t know, Spain’s capital, an important candidate, then). The general idea is that he thought Mr. González was going to name him Minister of Justice (and possibly of Interior, as both were held then by another Socialist, Mr. Belloch, now Zaragoza’s Major). But he was only named “Secretary of State of the National Plan against Drugs”. Unhappy with the perspective, he left his position in the Parliament and in politics and went back to his National Court’s office, where he “opened a drawer” where he had the indictment for the GAL cases and went on to process an important number of Socialist high-rank officials, including former Minister of Interior Barrionuevo. He charged them because of the “dirty war” against ETA terrorists, killed, tortured or maimed by GAL members, a terrorist group supported by, at least, some members of the socialist Government.
What does this tell about him? Only that he didn’t prosecute this people when he knew about those cases, but after he was denied the position he thought his merits allowed him to have.
Also, despite being a judge -a position which requires impartiality-, he made very clear his position against Aznar and Iraqi war, taking part in demostrations where he even gave speeches.
In the present case, he was only interested in people killed by the dictatorship, but not by the II Republic’s supporters. Also he didn’t consider the existence of the Amnesty Law, which is actually in force, for all crimes committed throughout all those years, both by “nationals” (Franco supporters) or “republicans” (Republic supporters).
Lastly, NYT also conveniently forgets another thing: Luciano Varelo is a liberal Judge and one of the founders of the leftist-progessive Judges’ Associatino “Jueces para la Democracia” (Judges for Democracy). So Garzón can have a lot of “political enemies” but ideologically, this isn’t the case, as both of them are leftists/liberals.