The wheels of justice in Spain are turning on one of the country’s most prominent judges. Baltazar Gartzon – who is known for pursuing alleged human rights abuses worldwide – is now the subject of an investigation himself.
The Supreme Court has agreed to study a complaint by civil servants’ trade union, Manos Limpias. The organisation claims Garzon acted without authority when he investigated alleged human rights violations during the rule of General Franco. The judge declared the acts of repression committed by the Franco regime to be ‘crimes against humanity’ and accused the dictator of being responsible for more than 100,000 killings around the time of the Civil War. He also ordered the exhumation of 19 unmarked mass graves. Manos Limpias – a far right union – alleges Garzon acted without jurisdiction, but in November last year he dropped the investigation handing it over to regional courts. Speaking after the decision by the Supreme Court Garzon said he would he would defend himself when the time came. ‘The law,’ he said, ‘is equal for everyone.’