Maverick narcissist Spanish Audiencia Nacional (new Inquisition, successor of the fascist Tribunal de Orden Público) judge Baltasar Garzón has got some good publicity internationally thanks to his stunts about attempting to judge Pinochet and some others criminals against Humankind (with no practical effect anyhow).
The latest was that he attempted to open a trial on the crimes of fascism in Spain, notably in the Spanish Civil War and initiated a major corruption trial against conservative officers, who were eventually acquitted. Critically he overdid himself by attempting to bring to court the Bush Six, six high US officials accused of crimes against Humankind and hence subject to his theory of universal jurisdiction.
That last was probably what caused him to be indicted by his colleagues. He's now accused of prevarication (power abuse) for trying to overrun the 1978 General Amnesty which prevents the trial of any crimes committed before that date.
Now and then I stumble on articles in English or Spanish applauding this judge.
However the reality is not what it seems: Garzon may be a maverick but he's no Human Rights hero but actually co-culprit in many many cases of torture and other abuses.
Notably, the Association of Relatives of Murdered in Navarre (AFAN) has just written a letter[es]clarifying why they cannot support Garzón. Translated excerpts:
2. For decades the Audiencia Nacional has been one of the organs more denounced by Human Rights watchdogs. Thousands of people have gone through that tribunal of which many have reported tortures. It suffices to read the nightmarish declarations recorded in so many reports and books of Amnesty International, the European Commission for the Prevention of Torture, the Groups Against Torture (TAT), etc. In spite of the thousands of documented cases, the Audiencia Nacional never opened diligences to clarify the facts denounced by the arrested.
3. Judge Garzón has been for decades the star judge of that Audicencia Nacional, and the one who has interrogated most arrested people, listening to hundreds of horrific denounces. People arrested, we must insist, on his command, under his only responsibility. He never opened diligences to clarify them. Listening or reading those torture testimonies is the closest thing to what we have heard to the victims of the 1936 repression. In addition, Garzón has been the sole promoter in these last decades, of imprisonment of hundreds of people for the only reason of their political activism, closing media, etc.
4. That now, in the name of the Human Rights of those killed in 1936, some groups come out in defense of Judge Garzón, praising his "ethical and democratic decency", we find a cruel sarcasm. An insult to all those repressed yesterday and today. The most horrible thing we can do to the victims of fascism is to throw their memory to the hands of creepy characters like this one, who want this way to clean up their horrible past with the banner of our death. We won't play this game.