Justice, Spanish style

July 15, 2011
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Photo of an exhumation of a mass grave near Burgos, by Francesc Torres.

According to today’s issue of Público:

1. Judge Baltasar Garzón initiates an investigation into the forced disappearance and/or assasination of 113,000 Spaniards by Francoist forces.

2. Judge Baltasar Garzón is accused of judicial malfeasance (prevaricación) for having initiated that investigation, and is suspended from his post as a Judge.

3. An Argentine judge, invoking the concept of “Universal Jurisdiction” expresses interest in pursuing these crimes against humanity, given the apparent lack of interest in Spain. She asks Spain to confirm or deny the fact that they are not investigating those crimes. [There are two main criteria that justify the invocation of universal jurisdiction: a) the crimes must by extremely grave –“crimes against humanity”; b) the national courts of the country in question must balk at the chance of carrying out investigations.

4. Eight months later, Spain responds to the Argentine judge, claiming that it is in fact investigating those crimes. One of the main pieces of evidence behind this claim: the reports prepared in the first place by Judge Garzón, those very documents that engendered the charge of malfeasance and that brought about Garzón’s suspension from the bench.

Where is Monty Python when you need them?

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One Response to “ Justice, Spanish style ”

  1. Anna on September 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Perhaps I’m not understanding the article well, but why was Judge Garzon suspended from his position? Isn’t the investigation a necessary and justified step towards those who suffered at the hands of Franco decades ago?

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