High profile Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon is facing his greatest personal legal challenge yet — a battle to save his own career.
Garzon has appeared in court in Madrid on charges of abusing his judicial powers. There are three cases linked to his investigations into human rights abuses, corruption and other charges.
Outside the court supporters proclaimed his innocence, claiming the proceedings were a politically motivated vendetta against a man who has made enemies in high places in Spain.
The initial case involves allegations he illegally authorised police to record the conversations of lawyers with their clients in custody.
Garzon came to international prominence through his efforts to extradite the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet from the UK to Spain.
He has also acted on behalf of victims of the Argentinian regime of the 1970s
Perhaps his most controversial investigation focused on the killings of tens of thousands of civilians during Spain’s Franco dictatorship. This, his opponents say, violated an amnesty law. The cases are all private prosecutions brought by individuals and organisations.
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