Garzón: I reject the ruling and will fight it

February 9, 2012
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In a statement just published, Judge Garzón has expressed his “frontal rejection” of the ruling by his country’s Supreme Court that has sentenced him to an 11-year disbarment. This rejection is based on his understanding that the ruling has been “unjust and predetermined,” employs spurious arguments, and lacking in evidence; he vows to use all the legal routes available to fight the ruling. Garzón states:

I have worked against terrorism, drug trafficking, crimes against humanity, and corruption. I have always done so with the law in hand and in conjunction with prosecutors, judges, and the police. In this work I have always rigorously observed judicial norms, defended the rights of both the defendants and the victims, in very adverse situations.

He trabajado contra el terrorismo, el narcotráfico, los crímenes contra la humanidad y la corrupción. Lo he hecho con la ley en la mano y en unión de fiscales, jueces y policía. En este trabajo, siempre he cumplido con rigor las normas, he defendido los derechos de los justiciables y de las víctimas en situaciones muy adversas.

The full text of the letter follows:

I reject head-on the decision/sentence of which I was notified today.

I reject it because I believe that it is not in keeping with the law, and that it condemns me unjustly in a way that was predetermined.

I have fought against terrorism, drug trafficking, crimes against humanity and corruption. I have always done so with the law in my hand, and in collaboration with prosecutors, judges and the police. While doing this job I have always rigorously obeyed the rules; I have always, in very adverse situations, defended the rights of both the accused and the victims.

Now, and during this entire process, my rights have been systematicaly violated, the requests I have made to be able to defend myself have been ignored, and the oral trial has been a pretext, whose content was only used against me; favorable elements that worked to my benefit were swept aside so that a sentence that had already been announced months ago could be handed down.

My behavior in the so-called Gurtel case was legal; as the case developed, I took all the measures necessary to protect the right of defense, and to investigate very serious crimes related to corruption. I based myself on the robust indications that the heads of this mafia were using their designated attornies –as they had done in the past—to continue committing the crime of money laundering [while in prison]. I acted to avoid the commission of those on-going crimes.

I have not been allowed to present the proofs that demonstrated this, and the implication and participation of lawyers in the money-laundering scam has been ignored.

The affirmation contained in the sentence to justify the alleged harm caused by my acts –“the inclusion of a clause [in the wire-tap order] aimed at protecting the [accused’s] right to a defense, whether effective or not, reveals that [Garzón] knew that his resolution affected that right”—is a self-contradictory aberration, which is used to undermine the foundation of my innocence. At no point does the sentence indicate how my acts harmed the right to a defense; it does not say so, because such harm does not exist. The sentence simply invents the harm. The sentence is also untrue when it affirms that the measure to protect the accused’s right to a defense was not implemented, because I personally took pains to guarantee that protection. This is all supported by the evidence gathered and ignored by the Supreme Court.

With no judicial basis, and without supporting evidence, this sentence eliminates the possibility of investigating corruption and related crimes, by opening up spaces of impunity. The sentence, in its zeal to finish off a particular Judge, gravely jeopardizes the independence of all judges in Spain.

I will exhaust all legal channels to appeal this sentence and I will undertake all of the relevant actions to try to mitigate the irreparable damage caused by the authors of this sentence.

Madrid, 9 February 2012.

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One Response to “ Garzón: I reject the ruling and will fight it ”

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