Judge on trial for abuse of power
Published 08/04/2010 | 05:00
A CRUSADING Spanish judge known for trying to extradite the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from Britain is to go on trial for abuse of power after starting an investigation into crimes perpetrated under Franco.
Spain's Supreme Court announced yesterday that Baltasar Garzon was "knowingly acting without jurisdiction" when he began looking into atrocities committed by the former regime.
Judges ruled he had "consciously ignored" an amnesty decreed in parliament in 1977, designed to draw a line under past abuses and aid Spain's transition to democracy.
The decision marked a fall from grace for the country's most high-profile and controversial judge, who gained international fame for using the Spanish doctrine of universal jurisdiction to pursue human rights abuses. He came to prominence in the late 1990s with the Pinochet campaign and investigated atrocities by Argentina's former military regime, charged Bin Laden over September 11 and pursued the US over Guantanamo. (©Daily Telegraph, London)