BALTASAR GARZON IS INTERVIEWED BY AMY GOODMAN AND JUAN GONZALEZ in May 2011 before the November election swept Manuel Rajoy’s right-wing party to power in Spain. Since the election result was known on November 20th, (the anniversary of the death of dictator Francisco Franco), the “snails pace” Justice Department has proceeded with obscene haste to GET GARZON.
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This interview gives the background for Garzon’s ability to apply Universal Jurisdiction to bring to justice dictators like Augusto Pinochet, and dispense justice on behalf of victims. It also reveals (via Wikileaks) the pressure put on the Spanish Govenrment by the U.S.A. to drop the case. But as can be seen, his actions have strong public support.
3 separate trials are now taking place consequatively forcing Garzon to defend himself consistently for up to 5 weeks in Spain’s highest court.
It is relevant to consider that Garzon was investigating the Gurtel corruption case involving up to 70 of Manuel Rajoy’s “Partido Popular” (PP). The Gürtel casefile consists of tens of thousands of pages describing possible financial irregularities and acts of personal favouritism within the Partido Popular. It´s regarded as the biggest political scandal since the corruption case against former Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz, who allegedly pocketed millions of euros from illegal real estate transactions.
The Gürtel investigation was opened by judge Baltasar Garzon, now himself an object of investigation before the supreme court for ordering investigations of crimes during the Franco-era and possible prevarication. Due to Garzon’s suspension, the Gurtel investigation has stopped.
Judge Baltasar Garzón is known for ordering the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and seeking to indict members of the Bush administration for their role in torturing prisoners. Now, Garzón himself is facing a trial in Madrid, after right-wing groups objected to his investigation of atrocities committed by supporters of the dictator Francisco Franco. While prosecutors reportedly disagreed with the charges that Garzón had exceeded his authority, Spanish law allows civilians to lodge criminal charges. If convicted, Garzón could lose his right to sit as a judge in Spain.
Garzón has used the doctrine of universal jurisdiction to investigate war crimes and torture across national lines, famously indicting Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda in 2003 and attempting to indict members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay and overseas.