Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Baltasar Garzón y el caso de las escuchas Gürtel: El Tribunal Supremo rechaza el recurso de nulidad, abriendo el camino al Tribunal Constitucional

Monday, March 26th, 2012

En España, la Sala Penal del Tribunal Supremo ha rechazado el recurso de nulidad de las actuaciones en el caso de las escuchas Gürtel, presentado por Baltasar Garzón, abriendo el camino al recurso de Garzón antes el Tribunal Constitucional. 

Véase Julio M. Lázaro, “El Supremo rechaza el recurso de nulidad de Garzón contra su condena; La Sala Penal niega que tuviera “una idea preconcebida” en contra del acusado; La desestimación abre la vía al recurso de amparo ante el Constitucional,” El País, el 23 de marzo de 2012.

Con la elección del Partido Popular en noviembre de 2011, los paraceres de los fiscales–quienes antes apoyaban las posiciones de Garzón–han cambiado. De hecho, los fiscales ya no son los mismos.

Anteriormente, en conferencia de prensa, el Fiscal General del Esado, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, habia dicho que seguiría las recomendaciones de los procuradores adjuntos a la Sala Penal en cuanto a recurrir la sentencia contra Baltasar Garzón en el caso de las escuchas Gürtel, o no:

El fiscal general del Estado, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, manifestó este martes que está a la espera de que la Sección Penal de la Fiscalía del Supremo le notifique su posición sobre si se debe recurrir la sentencia que ha condenado al juez Baltasar Garzón a 11 años de inhabilitación como juez por las escuchas de Gürtel, y “en caso afirmativo”, añadió el fiscal general, “no habrá ninguna pega”.

Pero después del reemplazo del jefe de la sección adjunta a la sala penal, Torres-Dulce decidió no recurrir la sentencia.

En el intervalo, el procurador adjunto a la Sala Penal fue reemplazado por otro nuevo mas simpático al PP, quien anunció–casi sin tener tiempo para estudiar el expediente–que no apelaría la sentencia. Torres-Dulce, también nombrado por la corriente de la magistratura cercana a la PP, pudo así cumplir con su palabra–en el sentido estricto de la artimaña.

Parece que en el Supremo y ahora también con los procuradores del Partido Popular, no hay vergüenza.

El prestigio de la magistratura española debe estar en uno de sus puntos más bajos desde Franco.

El nuevo Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación–del PP–José Manuel García Margallo, busca ahora salvar la marca España de la mancha negra creada por la actuación del Tribunal Supremo en los casos contra Garzón.

Según ha podido confirmar EL PAÍS, todas las embajadas españolas han recibido en las últimas dos semanas una circular, de carácter secreto, sobre el caso Garzón.
–Véase Miguel Gonzáles, “Exteriores instruye a los embajadores para justificar la condena a Garzón; Exteriores remite a todas las delegaciones una circular con instrucciones,” 11 de marzo de 2012.

Para los interlocutores de los embajadores españoles en el exterior, se recomiende que consulten los artículos del Observador Incisivo o los artículos más extensos de El País, para entender bien lo que occurrió con los casos contra Garzón, especialmente con la sentencia en el caso de las escuchas Gürtel.

El Observador Incisivo
(The Trenchant Observer)

observer@trenchantobserver.com
www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

Diplomats founder: Military action, not “mediation”, required to halt crimes against humanity—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #1 (February 29, revised March 1)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Revised March 1, 2012

For earlier articles on Syria by The Trenchant Observer, see the Articles on Syria page.


Syrian tank firing in Homs

“So, is the world helpless? Must we simply stand by and watch the slaughter, and accept a future world where we are comfortable with the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, because we don’t have the will and the courage to use military force to stop it?”

Mediation with war criminals during ongoing commission of war crimes?


Francisco Goya, Saturn devouring his son

Look carefully at Goya’s painting of Saturn devouring his son. Feel the horror. That is the horror that exists today in Syria.

The Future for Opponents of the Al-Assad Regime

Human Rights Council Receives Special Commission Report; Adopts Resolution on Escalating Grave Human Rights Violations and Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation in Syria (March 1, 2012)

The commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other grave violations of fundamental human rights continues in Homs and other cities and towns in Syria. See

Report of the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria, February 22, 2012.

–Alan Cowell and Steven Lee Myers, “U.N. Panel Accuses Syrian Government of Crimes Against Humanity,” New York Times, February 23, 2012.

For the full text of the 72-page report, see “Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/19/69 (22 February 2012).


Human Rights Council in Geneva

March 1, 2012 Human Rights Council Resolution

Beginning February 28, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva debated a new resolution (A/HRC/19/L.1/Rev.1) on the the escalating grave human rights situation and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria. See

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at The Urgent Debate on the Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic at the Human Rights Council 19th Session, February 28, 2012.

Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Council adopts resolution on escalating grave human rights violations and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria,” March 1, 2012.

The text of Resolution A/HRC/19/L.1/Rev.1 is found here.

The Resolution was approved on March 1 by a vote of 37 in favor, 3 against, with three abstentions. The vote tally or breakdown was as follows:

In Favor

Austria
Bangladesh
Belgium
Benin
Botswana
Cameroon
Chile
Congo
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Djibouti
Guatemala
Hungary
Indonesia
Italy
Jordan
Kuwait
Libya
Malaysia
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Nigeria
Norway
Peru
Poland
Qatar
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
United States of America
Uruguay

Against

China
Cuba
Russian Federation

Abstentions

Ecuador
India
Philippines

Not voting, with explanation (absent from room)

Burkino Faso – would have voted in favor
Kyrgyzstan – would have voted in favor
Angola – would have abstained

Not Voting, without explanation

Uganda

The actual vote tally sheet is found here.

Obama: “We can’t stand on the sidelines” [but let me think it over while I have a latté]

Obama has reportedly vetoed a plan to take military action to set up a secure zone within Syria by the use of air power.  See  “Obama rules out military intervention in Syria, weighs humanitarian corridors,” DEBKAfile, February 29, 2012.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton muses aloud, on camera, that if we call Al-Assad a war criminal, it may make it harder to get him to resign.  Well, he is a war criminal, and is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity as we speak.  The Nuremberg Charter was not about convenience.  The dilemma is real.  But that is no reason to hide in an Orwellian world in which the Secretary of State and the President are afraid to describe a horrific reality with real words.

See Richard Spencer, Syria: “Bashar al-Assad could be regarded as a war criminal, says Hillary Clinton; The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad could be regarded as a war criminal, Hillary Clinton suggested as the United Nations said 100 people were dying in his country every day,” The Telegraph, February 28, 2012.

How Many Will Die Before the International Community Stops Al-Assad–With Force if Required?

Meanwhile, United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, told the Security Council on Tuesday, February 28, that the U.N. now estimates that 7,500 civilians have died in Syria, up from 4,500 estimated in December.

The Urgency Is to Act Now, Today

Kofi Annan has been given a mandate to “mediate” with Al-Assad and others, and has demanded that his mediation process be the sole mediation process to resolve the dispute. This is a major mistake by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.  Annan’s mission should be limited to a week, in the initial phase. Other mediation efforts should continue.

Annan is no Richard Holbrooke with the full military might of the United States standing behind him, which enabled Holbrooke to broker a peace in Dayton with Milosovic in 1995, after three years of devastating war in the former Yugoslovia. Then, as now in Syria, the international community didn’t want to get involved militarily.

There is absolutely no reason to expect that Annan will succeed where the Arab League and the major Western and Arab powers failed. This is Al-Assad’s game, which he played masterfully with the Arab League sanctions, which were postponed as a result of his acceptance of their November peace plan and the Arab League observer mission, gaining months of time, for months of repression. He never complied with the peace plan’s terms, and in retrospect appears never to have intended to.

He wants more time,  more time to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity to eliminate his opponents in Homs, and everywhere else. He will always play for more time.  The question is, “When will the international community, led by the U.S. or France, tell him that his time is up?”

He should not be given more time. He should be stopped, by force if necessary.  In the next few days.

Obama must face the harsh realities in Syria. This is not a “kumbaya” moment in history.  The Russians are willing to play for time so Al-Assad can finish killing off the opposition.  They are providing munitions including weapons and ammunition, and probably intelligence, money and other support to assist him.

Obama must understand that the hour is now late.  In the end, no U.N. resolution will, in and of itself, stop Al-Assad from slaughtering his opponents. At this point, only a resolution authorizing military action–and the ensuing military action–could do this. But such a resolution is not going to be approved by the Security Council any time soon.

So, is the world helpless?  Must we simply stand by and watch the slaughter, and accept a future world where we are comfortable with the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, because we don’t have the will and the courage to use military force to stop it?

The civilized world has stopped crimes against humanity before, without Security Council authorization, in Kosovo and Serbia. It is now time to act, militarily, to stop Al-Assad. There is no imaginable scenario whereby he can remain in power with a license to hunt down and execute his opponents, without other outside powers being drawn into an ever-widening civil war and regional conflict.

Iran is watching.  This conflict is in important respects a conflict also with Iran. Obama has spoken of having all the options on the table with Iran if they don’t agree to stop the development of a nuclear weapons capability or nuclear weapons. He will have no credibility with Iran, and no credibility that he will in fact stop an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if he does not show some decisiveness now. Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week, in all likelihood in an effort to get a green light to launch such an attack.  Things are not going to get any easier for Obama as time goes by.

Obama is known for his words, and the fact that they are frequently not backed up by actions. In fact, in foreign policy, he is seen by many as lacking leadership skills and “resolve”.  

Netanyahu defied him early on with respect to settlements, and Obama backed down. Obama gave the Russians their greatest objective in arms control talks, by withdrawing plans to base defensive missiles in Poland and Czechoslovakia–and got nothing in return. He didn’t even tell the Poles and the Czechs in advance. He did nothing to support the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009, which subsequently was crushed–like the Syrian opposition will be crushed if there is no outside help. The Iranians are advising Al-Assad. He stood on the sidelines in Egypt when the Arab Spring arrived, and even cut back on support of civil society programs through foreign assistance in the years leading up to those events. He was opposed to getting involved in Libya for a long, long time, and only got involved when pushed to do so by the French and the Bristish. He oversaw the disastrous failure of American diplomacy in failing to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq, leading to the precipitous withdrawal of the U.S. in a manner that puts the entire Iraqi enterprise in doubt. His policies in Afghanistan have manifestly failed. Above all, he lacks any strategic vision. He doesn’t see a connection between halting Al-Assad’s butchery in Syria and halting Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons. Outsiders have serious doubts he can stand up to Netanyahu and prevent an Israeli attack on Iran. The list could go on.

Nonetheless, despite these weaknesses and shortcomings, he must act now to lead the civilized world in halting the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. He needs to put military action on the table as an option, and immediately take overt steps to put that option in place so that it can be executed on short notice.

That could help diplomacy produce the desired concrete results–an immediate cessation of hostilities–an immediate halt to the firing of tanks, anti-aircraft weapons, and artillery against civilian neighborhoods, and an immediate halt to the ground sweeps of opponents that are taken out and shot.

It goes without saying that attacks on medical personnel and facilities, which constitute war crimes, must immediately halt. 

Humanitarian assistance must be allowed, but it will have no durable meaning if Al-Assad’s onslaught against his own civilian population is not stopped now.

The Trenchant Observer

observer@trenchantobserver.com
twitter.com/trenchantobserv

–For earlier articles by The Trenchant Observer, see the Articles on Syria page.
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Garzón convicted by Supreme Court in Gürtel wiretap case

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has been found guilty of prevaricación in the Gürtel wiretapping case, for willfully and knowingly violating the law by ordering the interception of conversations between the Gürtel defendants and lawyers who visited them in jail.

The sentence of 11 years disqualification from any judicial or comparable office will end Garzón’s career at the Audiencia Nacional in Spain.

The Supreme Court’s conviction of Garzon for prevaricación (willful decision against justice, i.e., to violate the law) in the Gürtel case appears to rest, at bottom, on a finding that there was no evidence against the specific lawyers whose conversations with defendants in jail were intercepted as a result of Garzon’s orders approving the wiretapping.  His orders were in fact issued before some of the lawyers were selected.

Garzón argued that those orders were issued on the basis of suspicions the police, the prosecutors and ultimately he, the investigating judge, had that the Gürtel defendants were using their lawyers to continue committing crimes including money laundering, from jail.

The court found no evidence of criminal behavior in the record to justify those suspicions against the specific lawyers named in the private action.  Earlier, the court had refused to admit evidence proposed by Garzón.

See Tribuanl Suprema, Sala de lo Penal, “Sentencia No. 79/2012,” Causa Especial No. 20716/2009, 09/02/12.

For full reporting on and reactions to the case, see El País, 9 de febrero de 2019.

After taking two years to process the case, and then rushing to make sure it was heard before the “historical memory” case which has just concluded and is awaiting judgment, the Supreme Court produced an intricate and tightly reasoned opinion in 17 working days after the conclusion of the final hearing on January 19–an extraordinary feat given the exhaustive references to the Court’s case law contained in the judgment.

One crucial fact is that the Public Prosecutor’s Office (la Fiscalía) supported Garzón’s positions throughout the case. This fact is hard to square with the Court’s conclusion that no reasonable legal interpretation could support Garzón’s order to initiate the wiretaps, as is the fact that another judge subsequently reached the same conclusion as Garzón when he extended the wiretaps.

Lawyers, law professors, and journalists will now pore over the court’s opinion, and much critical analysis will follow.

A key factual issue which the Court resolved, without hearing all of Garzon’s proffered evidence, was whether there were reasonable indicia of continuing criminal activity by the Gürtel defendants and their lawyers, operating from jail. The court’s argument that the evidence had to be against specific lawyers, when some of them had not yet been selected, raises questions.

An important legal issue is whether Garzón reached the correct decision in ordering the wiretaps. If he did not–and a panel held earlier that his decision should be overturned–he would be guilty of making a judicial error. In itself, that is not a career-ending offense.

Signficantly, as noted above,  the wiretaps were ordered to be extended twice, by at least one other judge, after Garzón’s involvement in the case ended. Whether the other judge will now be charged with prevaricación is unknown.

The critical legal and factual issue on which the case ultimately turned was whether Garzón willfully decided to order the wiretaps, knowing that there was no reasonable legal interpretation which could justify his decision. The Supreme Court found that there was no such interpretation, and that Garzón knowingly decided to act against the law.

These issues will remain hotly disputed, as Garzón appeals his conviction, possibly to the Constitutional Court in Spain, and ultimately to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The Trenchant Observer

observer@trenchantobserver.com

www.twitter.com/trenchant

For earlier articles on the Garzón case, please use the Search Box on the main page which, if you are not already there, can be accessed by clicking on “The Trenchant Observer” at the top of this page.  Articles have been published in both English and Spanish.

Monumental miscalculation? Russia’s strategic interests in Syria and its defense of the al-Assad regime

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Russia has blocked Security Council resolutions on Syria (e.g., in October, 2011) and has been dragging its heels in the current Security Council debate over endorsement of the Arab League plan for a peaceful transition in Syria, which in its original version called for Bashar al-Assad to step down and cede power to his vice-president as part of a transitional plan leading to elections and a democratic government. The Russians appear to have said “no” to that idea, while negotiations among Security Council members continue to see if a consensus among the Permanent members and a majority of the Council can be reached in order to approve a new resolution.

The following articles address the underlying strategic, political and commercial interests Russia appears to be defending through its refusal to date to allow the Security Council to take effective action. It has a naval base on the Mediterranean at Tartus, arms sales to Syria, and other commerical interests, which apparently it believes it is defending through its obstinance in the Security Council.

Yet it may be making a strategic miscalculation of monumental proportions, striving to maintain its naval base following a kind of 19th century geopolitical calculus, when the Arab Spring has arrived, is spreading, and Russia now risks poisoning its relations with the governments and peoples of the Middle East, for at least a generation, by firmly defending a regime engaged in the unquestioned and widespread commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Russia always dreamed of having a warm-water port, but even its bases in the Crimea are controlled by NATO members Greece and Turkey at the entrance to the Bosphorus, just as the entrance to the Mediterranean from the Atlantic is controlled by Spain and Portugal, both NATO allies, and Morocco, the sponsor of the Arab league draft reolution in the Security Council. Given the revolution in Egypt, the chances of establishing a cozy relationship with the power which controls the Suez Canal appear slim.

19th century dreams of a warm-water port and Cold War strategies to have a naval base to contest NATO’s control of the Mediterranean are illusions based on Cold War and pre- Cold War thinking. Like the French who built the Maginot Line after World War I to protect themselves from the Germans, the Russians are likely to pay a heavy price for following a strategy based on the past instead of the future.

The great irony is that by continuing to support Bashar al-Assad and his murderous regime, as the country plummets into civil war, the Russians are doing everything they can to alienate the very opposition forces in Syria which are likely to prevail–in the not-too-distant future. When these succeed in seizing power, they will not look kindly on the idea of maintaining Russia’s naval base in Syria, and will have no need for Russian arms.

For detailed examinations of Russia’s strategic and other interests in Syria, see:

S. Richter, “Russlands zweifelhafte Syrien-Strategie: Moskau blockiert eine UN-Resolution gegen das Assad-Regime. Es will seine letzte Bastion im Mittelmeer nicht einfach aufgeben,” Die Zeit, den 1. Februar, 2012

Daniel Treisman, “Why Russia protects Syria’s Assad,” CNN, February 2, 2012

Armin Arefi, “Syrie : pourquoi la Russie bloque l’ONU,”
Le Point, le 31 janvier, 2012

Pierre Avril, “Pourquoi Moscou protège son allié Assad,” Le Figaro, le 29 janvier, 2012

The World has changed. The Cold War is over. Russia is not going to fight NATO in the Mediterranean.

Blocking concerted action by the Security Council now may well lead in the future to the foreign military intervention which Russia fears, as Syria spins out of control.

Russia needs to do a basic “rethink” on where its own best interests lie.

The Trenchant Observer

observer@trenchantobserver.com
www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

Los casos contra Garzón: Las cuestiones prévias en el caso de la memoria histórica

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

En la sesión de hoy, 24 de enero, el Tribunal Supremo escuchó los argumentos de la fiscalía, la defensa, e de los querrellantes en torno a las cuestiones prévias, que se deben dilucidarse antes de entrar en el fondo del juicio contra Baltasar Garzón por prevaricación relacionado con “el caso de la memoria histórica”.

Dos de las cuestiones prévias podrían llevar al sobreseimiento de este caso. La primera es la acusación de que Luciano Varela, el juez quien instruyó la causa, violó las más básicas normas de la imparcialidad judicial cuando en lugar de rechazar una demanda viciada e incompleta, ayudó a los querellantes corregir sus defectos. Los detalles alegados de como lo hizo parecen ser escandalosos.

La segunda cuestión prévia se gira alrededor de la doctrina Botín del mismo Tribunal Suprema, segón la cual el Tribunal no debe conocer una causa que no cuenta con el apoyo de la fiscalía.

Al oír los argumentos, el Tribunal Supremo suspendió el proceso por una semana mientras llegue a las decisiones correspondientes sobre las cuestiones prévias. De aceptar cualquiera de las dos, el caso se clausurá, dejando a Garzón a la espera de la decisión del Tribunal Supremo en el caso de “las escuchas Gürtel”.

Para los últimos reportajes, véase, por ejemplo:

Julio M. Lázaro, “El fiscal y Garzón exigen la nulidad de la “insólita” instrucción de Varela: Durísimo informe de la fiscalía contra la acusación admitida a Manos Limpias,” El País, 24 de enero de 2012.

Lázaro cita al fiscal Luís Navajas, quien declaró lo siguiente:

“En mis 36 años como fiscal, jamás había visto una resolución parecida, ni en el fondo ni en la forma”, dijo sobre las indicaciones de Varela. Para el fiscal, fue una decisión “absolutamente insólita e insostenible” y la consecuencia fue “transmutar una acusación que no se sostenía” y sobre la que el juez del Supremo coadyuvó “a reconstruir lo que era absolutamente irreconstruíble”.

Véase tambíen,

N. Villanueva, “El fiscal defiende a Garzón y pide que la «memoria histórica» se zanje sin juicio: Arremete contra el instructor, Luciano Varela, por sentar al juez en el banquillo: algo «insólito e insostenible»,” ABC.es, 25 de enero de 2012.

Un comentario por Luis García Montero–quien es poeta, no jurista–sobre el significado más amplio de los casos contra Garzón, que él compara al caso Dreyfuss en Francia al fines del siglo 19, habla de la extrema partidarización de las justicia en España. Además comenta:

Hay situaciones que simbolizan el malestar de una época y, más allá de su significado particular, ponen el dedo en la llaga de un momento histórico. Así ocurrió a finales del sigo XIX con el juicio seguido en Francia contra el capitán Alfred Dreyfus. La falsa acusación de espionaje y la condena a la isla del Diablo tuvo el apoyo decidido del nacionalismo violento y los poderes antisemitas, pero provocó la indignación de una parte de la sociedad, el sector más democrático y concienciado. El caso Dreyfus resumía las contradicciones y las mentiras de la Tercera República francesa.

Ocurrió lo mismo con los debates provocados en España a partir de 1921 por el Desastre de Annual. La tragedia y su polémica pusieron al descubierto no ya las corrupciones dentro de la monarquía de Alfonso XIII, sino la corrupción misma de un régimen fundado en la manipulación de la voluntad popular y en la distancia entre la España oficial y la España real.

Los juicios contra Baltasar Garzón representan un acontecimiento parecido….
….
Aquí no se discute si Baltasar Garzón es simpático o antipático, si resolvió bien o mal en un caso del pasado o si nos parecen oportunos los jueces estrella. Se discute si actuó como prevaricador en las instrucciones del caso Gürtel o en la causa contra los crímenes del franquismo. La opinión de numerosos juristas nacionales e internacionales defiende las interpretaciones del juez Garzón. Esa es la prueba evidente de que no existe delito de prevaricación, sino una forma posible de interpretar la ley.

¿Qué ocurre entonces? El Poder Judicial español descansa en la misma inercia bipartidista que el juego político. No participar de la disciplina de los unos o los otros, como caras de un sistema de control, significa quedarse a la intemperie. El bipartidismo –yo coloco a los míos y tú a los tuyos– ha generado familias de poder que se autoalimentan y actúan de acuerdo con sus rencores profesionales.

Aunque la Fiscalía y los mandos policiales avalan sus actuaciones contra una trama vergonzosa de corruptos, Baltasar Garzón parece condenado. El descrédito nacional e internacional de la Justicia española es un síntoma. Vivimos en un reino degradado, con una memoria y unas instituciones degradadas. La prevaricación es nuestra propia realidad. Somos una mentira. Damos risa.

–Luis García Montero, “Dreyfus, Annual y Garzón,” Blog “La realidad y el sueño”, Público.es (blogs), 22 de enero de 2012.

El Observador Incisivo
(The Trenchant Observer)

observer@trenchantobserver.com
www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

Véase otros artículos de Observador Incisivo sobre el Caso Garzón, entre ellos los siguientes:

The legal essence of the cases of “prevaricación” against Baltasar Garzón
January 20, 2012

Complaint before U.N. Special Rapporteur alleges U.S. judicial interference in Garzón torture cases in Spain
January 19, 2012

The Baltasar Garzón Case: In Spain, justice itself is on trial
January 17, 2012

¡Que pena para España! Los casos contra Garzón llegan al juicio
16 de enero de 2012

Tribunal Supremo de Justicia rechaza apelación de Garzón para ordenar pruebas; quedan pendientes otros recursos
21 de setiembre de 2010

The legal essence of the cases of “prevaricación” against Baltasar Garzón

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The most essential legal aspect of two of the cases against Baltasar Garzón, the case relating to the Gürtel network wiretaps (las escuchas Gürtel) and the case relating to “historical memory”, is often obscured by a focus on whether Garzón made the right decisions in these cases, or not.

That aspect is the nature of the judicial error he is accused of committing. It is not unusual for judges to reach decisions that prove to be erroneous when reversed on appeal by a higher court. This is the normal way control of legality and of the actions of judges is maintained.

But what is involved in the Gürtel network case and the “historical memory” case is something altogether different. These cases involve private criminal actions brought by the accused in the Gürtel case and by two right-wing groups in the “historical memory” case. Those who disagree with the judge’s previous decisions are now having their day in court–against the judge–in criminal actions which they themselves have brought.

The nature of the charge is signficant: prevaricación, willful decision against justice.

As the Spanish Supreme Court proceeds to deliberate and issue a decision in the Gürtel network case, after three days of an oral trial at the Court, it is useful to closely reread the texts of Articles 446 and 447 of the Spanish Criminal Code, which are the provisions the criminal action against Garzón are based on. Then, after analyzing carefully the text of the law, the reader can decide whether prevaricación has been committed or is being committed in the case, and by whom.

The following analysis is reproduced from The Trenchant Observer, “Garzon’s Accusers are Accused: Abuse of Judicial Power in Garzón Case is Stain on Spanish Judiciary, “The Trenchant Observer, April 13, 2010.

With respect to the case against Garzón, it is not an overstatement to say that the entire Judiciary in Spain is on trial.

It is difficult to comprehend how the Supreme Court of Spain has rejected earlier appeals by Garzón to halt the proceedings. Judge Varela, according to reports in El País, has jumped the gun by characterizing the facts in dispute as constituting the more serious of two possible crimes which the alleged facts could even conceivably have constituted.

The first crime is that of Intentional Unjust Decision (Prevaricación) under Article 446.3 of the Spanish Criminal Code, which provides:

Article 446

The Judge or Magistrate who, knowingly, shall issue a decision or resolution that is unjust shall be punished:

1) With sentence of from one to four years imprisonment in the case of an unjust judgment against the accused in a criminal case for a felony when the sentence has not yet been executed, and with one and a half times the same sentence if the judgment has been executed. In both cases there will be imposed the additional punishment of absolute disqualification for a period of 10 to 20 years.

2) With the sentence of a fine of six to 12 months (wages) and special disqualification from public employment or office for a period of six to 12 years, in the case of an unjust judgment issued against a defendant in the case of a midemeanor (falta),

3) With the sentence of a fine of 12 to 24 months (wages) and special disqualification from public employment or office for a period of 10 to 20 years, when he issues any other decision or resolution that is unjust.

The second crime is that of Grossly Negligent Unjust Decision (Prevaricación) under Article 447 of the Criminal Code, which provides:

Article 447

The judge or magistrate who, by gross imprudence or inexcusable ignorance (imprudencia grave o ignorancia inexcusable), shall issue a decision or resolution which is manifestly unjust shall incur the punishment of special disqualification from public employment or office for a period of from two to six years.

Given the clear precedents that exist in international law, including a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights in 2003 upholding the French conviction of Ely Ould Dah of Mauritania for torture despite the fact that he was not present at the trial and despite a law of amnesty in Mauritania, it is difficult to see how the Spanish Supreme Court could reject the appeal of the denial of Garzon’s motion for dismissal, as they in fact did.

Whether Baltasar Garzón’s decisions were correct or not in accordance with Spanish law is a matter for the Spanish courts, and ultimately the European Court of Human Rights, to decide. The European Convention on Human Rights is itself part of Spanish constitutional law.

Appealing the decisions of a judge on legal grounds is a correct and proper way to express disagreement with a decision, within a democratic state governed by law.

Criminally prosecuting the judge who is the author of that decision in an attempt to end his career, is quite something else.

A travesty of justice has already occurred, at two levels: first, the order of prosecution by Judge Luciano Varela, and second, the decision of the Supreme Court to deny Garzon’s appeal of Varela’s denial of his motion for dismissal.

How long this travesty of justice continues will tell us a lot about the Spanish judiciary and the individuals who currently hold the highest judicial offices in Spain.

The idea that a European judge could have his career in effect ended by the machinations of fellow judges against him, for ordering the investigation of where victims of crimes against humanity (forced disappearances and presumed executions) are buried, is a stain on the Spanish Judiciary, which will remain until Garzón is cleared of these charges and any other charges of a similar nature.

Should the Spanish courts persist in failing to rectify this obvious abuse of judicial power, that stain will ultimately be sealed in history with a judgment against Spain by the European Court of Human Rights.

*****

While the analysis above refers to the “historical memory” case, it applies equally to the Gürtel network case, which was tried in the Supreme Court on January 17, 18 and 19, 2012. We are awaiting the decision in that case.

The trial of Garzón for prevaricación in the “historical memory” case begins next week, on January 24.

Stay tuned.

The Trenchant Observer

E-mail: observer@trenchantobserver.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

See also The Trenchant Observer, “The Baltasar Garzón Case: In Spain, justice itself is on trial,” January 17, 2012 (updated January 20, 2012).

The Baltasar Garzón Case: In Spain, justice itself is on trial

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

“The Supreme Court of Spain should deserve our respect. What we now appear to see is a court populated by kangaroos, full of malicious and evil intent.

But then the law, and the demand for justice, sometimes produce miracles.

The members of the Spanish Supreme Court are sworn to uphold justice, and have spent their careers pursuing a calling whose end is justice. They may yet respond to the age-old and deeper call for justice, correcting the grave deficiencies in the proceedings to date against Garzón, by reaching a just verdict in both the Gürtel network and the “historical memory” cases. Failure to aquit Garzón in either would constitute a true case of prevaricación.

The brighter the lights on these nefarious proceedings, the louder the critical analysis and the more outspoken the criticism, perhaps the greater the odds will be that such a miracle may still occur in the case of Baltasar Garzón.”

In a kind of perfect storm orchestrated by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Spain, two of the three cases that have been brought against Investigating Judge Baltasar Garzón of the Audiencia Nacional are coming to trial this week and next. After sitting on the cases for two years, the honorable justices of the Supreme Court appear to have decided to maximize the stress on Garzón and his lawyers by trying him in both cases practically at the same time.

For reports of the cases against Garzón and the first day’s proceedings in the so-called Gürtel Wiretap cases (las escuchas Gürtel), see

“Baltasar Garzon, famed for inquiries into abuses in Spain and Latin America, faces charges of abusing judicial powers, Al Jazeera (English), January 17, 2012 (TV report).

El Observador Incisivo (The Trenchant Observer), “¡Que pena para España! Los casos contra Garzón llegan al juicio,” 16 de enero de 2012. This article may be translated into English using Google Translate, for a pretty good machine translation.

First impressions from today:

To hear this vigorous man speak in a raspy and stress-filled voice in the opening moments of the trial was to appreciate in an instant the enormous human toll that has been extracted from him by the Spanish state, acting through its judiciary. No matter how courageous the judge or defendant, the power of the state is always awesome and, without the defense of the law in action, it can easily crush anyone.

The cases against Garzón, which the Trenchant Observer has been following for over two years, seem to represent an evil attempt to destroy him for being a courageous judge — one willing to expose the immense corruption of the Partido Popular by the Gürtel gang or network, one willing to touch upon–ever so slightly–the massive crimes committed by Franco and his government up until his death on November 20, 1975.

By coincidence, exactly 37 years later to the day, the Partido Popular won parliamentary elections resulting in the ascension of Mariano Rajoy to the position of president of the government (roughly equivalent to prime minister).

There is an interesting U.S. angle to Garzón’s tribulations as well. Garzón authorized investigations into the torture of two Spanish nationals at Guantánamo, and also was poised to investigate six lawyers in the Justice Department and the White House responsible for the architecture of the torture policy of the Bush administration. According to Wikileaks cables, the U.S. intervened with the Spanish government, exercised presssure, and Gárzon was removed from these cases.

See Carlos Yárnoz, “US Embassy conspired to derail cases in Spain’s High Court:
Wikileaks reveals that prosecutors kept diplomats abreast of their legal strategies, with Washington lawmakers also intervening,” El País, November 30, 2011 (English edition);

In October, 2009, the Spanish government secured the amendment of the law to eliminate the exercise of “universal jurisdiction” over the authors of crimes like torture.

So, at the very least, the U.S. signaled to Spain that it wanted to eliminate Garzon’s participation in these cases. Whether that amounted to a green light to go after him and to take him out of action, and if so whether that has any bearing on the extraordinary lengths to which the Spanish Supreme Court has gone in order to end his career, has not been established. However, it seems like a plausible scenario.

See

Craig Whitlock, “Universal Jurisdiction': Spain’s Judges Target Torture: High-Ranking US Officials Among Targets of Inquiries,” The Washington Post, May 24, 2009.

José Yoldi, “Las Cortes recortan la jurisdicción universal,” El País, 16 de octubre de 2009

Jesús Duva, “Bajo la lupa de EE.UU.: El antiamericano’ Garzón tuvo especial seguimiento; La Embajada consideraba al magistrado un personaje incómodo y presionó para acabar con la jurisdicción universal,”El País, 2 de diciembre de 2010. (A number of U.S. cables relating to Garzón and released by Wikileaks are reproduced in the December 2, 2010 edition of El País.)

See also Amy Goodman, “Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón on Holding Torturers Accountable, Why He Opposes the Killing of Osama bin Laden, and His Threatened Ouster from the Bench,”Democracy Now, May 12, 2010.

Manifiesto–Plataforma de Apoyo al Juez Garzon, www.congarzon.com

Europe, the international community, and all advocates of the rule of law should keep bright lights shining on the proceedings underway in the Spanish Supreme Court.

These days will live in history, and may be cited as emblematic of a corrupt society in which the criminals succeeded in ending the career of the magistrate who ordered their detention, and/or the far-right parties reminiscent of Franco’s Spain succeeded in bringing a case against the judge who would have opened the first page in the historical record of the abuses committed under Franco. The plaintiffs were reportedly aided by the active assistance of the first-instance judge in preparing their case. He sits on one of the panels that will judge Garzón.

The Supreme Court of Spain should deserve our respect. What we now appear to see is a court populated by kangaroos, full of malicious and evil intent.

But then the law, and the demand for justice, sometimes produce miracles.

The members of the Spanish Supreme Court are sworn to uphold justice, and have spent their careers pursuing a calling whose end is justice. They may yet respond to the age-old and deeper call for justice, correcting the grave deficiencies in the proceedings against Garzón, by reaching a just verdict in both the Gürtel network and the “historical memory” cases. Failure to aquit Garzón in either would constitute a true case of prevaricación.

The brighter the lights on these nefarious proceedings, the louder the critical analysis and the more outspoken the criticism, perhaps the greater the odds will be that such a miracle may still occur in the case of Baltasar Garzón.

The Trenchant Observer

observer@trenchantobserver.com
www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

Current military actions in Libya

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

In U.S. newspapers, it is difficult to get a sense of what is actually going on in Libya on the ground. One of the best accounts in the last hours has been publshed in El País, in Madrid, in Spanish. The reader can use the Google Translator at the bottom of this page to see a version in English, or another language.

See Juan Miguel Muñoz / Agencias, “Los rebeldes libios retoman la ciudad estratégica de Ajdabiya,” El País. 26 de marzo de 2011.

See also Thierry Portes, “À l’Est, la bataille d’Ajdabiya s’intensifie,” Le Figaro, le 25 mars, 2011; and

Imed Lamloum (AFP), “Explosions rock military site in Libyan capital,” Inquirer.net, March 26, 2011.

The Trenchant Observer

The Struggle for Democracy in Bolivia, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, and Iran

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

For more recent articles on the struggle for democracy in different countries, includung Ukraine, Syria and Egypt, click on the title banner above, and then go to the respective page on the right, use the search box, or scroll down through the articles in chronological order.

Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Ivory Coast, Iran

2011 is beginning to look like a year of contagious revolution–something like 1848 in Europe.

Egypt and Tunisia have overthrown dictatorial regimes in the last two months, and now the battle is joined in Libya–with the outcome hanging in the balance.

The U.N. Security Council has passed a resolution referring the matter of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed by Moammar Qaddafi and other Libyan government officials to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The ICC announced on March 3, 2010 that it had opened an investigation.

The ICC should also investigate new allegations by the former Minister of the Interor of Libya that Col. Moammar Quddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.

In Ivory Coast, drawn out mediation by regional leaders has done little to remove Laurent Gbagbo from power, despite universal conclusions by outside observers and international organizations that he lost the recent elections to his opponent, Assanne Ouattara.

In Iran, opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have reportedly been arrested, as “the Green Movement” shows renewed signs of life, in streeet demonstrations in the face of strong repression by state security officials.

The Universal Struggle for Democracy

The struggle for democracy is universal, based on universal ideals and principles of the United Nations Charter and international human rights law, including treaties to which the overwhelming majority of nations, of “states” as they are known in international law, are parties. Governments are bound under international law by treaties to which they are parties, including the United Nations Charter and the authority invested in the Security Council by the Charter. They are also bound by norms of customary international law, which increasingly includes guarantees of basic human rights including the rights to participate in government and in free elections.

But the tide of freedom, while rising, also ebbs and flows. In any specific country, there is no guarantee that democratic government, once achieved, will never be lost. There is nothing inevitable about democratic government. That is why the struggle for democracy is a continuing struggle, not only to advance the cause of freedom where it does not exist but also to resist its reversal where it is eroding. Events in the last few months, offer illuminating examples of these precepts.

Tunisia

“Freedom” is in the air in Tunisia, after the first popular revolution in an Arab state in decades toppled the government of Ben Ami in Tunis, following 23 years of authoritarian rule and widespread corruption at the highest levels.

Lebanon

In Lebanon, Hezbollah withdrew in January from the unity government of Sa’ad Hariri, among thinly-veiled threats of civil war, if the government of Lebanon does not break ties with the U.N. International Tribunal for Lebanon, established by the Security Council to investigate and try those responsible for the assassination of Hariri’s father, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005. Hezbollah is militating against the United Nations Security Council, international law, and the tribunal established by the Security Council because, according to reports, it fears the Tribunal will issue indictments against Hezbollah members in the coming days or weeks.

The Tribunal itself has a statute which establishes due process of law for the hearing of the charges which may be brought by the Prosecutor of the Court. Hezbollah is arguing, if effect, that the Court is biased before any judicial proceedings against its members are initiated, and without regard to the fact that they will have a chance for a fair hearing, the questioning of evidence and of witnesses, in any proceedings that might be brought. With black shirts menacing and threatening to take physical control of West Beirut and large parts of the country, Hezbollah has positioned itself as an anti-democratic force opposed to the struggle for the rule of law within Lebanon, and one opposed to the United Nations, the Security Council and international law.

Outside parties have rushed to mediate. A Saudi-Syrian initiative has now been replaced by a Qatari-Turkish mediation effort. Democracy is in the balance.

What is at stake is the authority of the U.N. Security Council, the United Nations Charter, and international law. If Hezbollah can halt the cooperation of the government of Lebanon with the STL by threats of civil war and dividing the country in two, its success would not bode well for the future of the International Criminal Court or other international tribunals that might be established in the future to deal with issues such as the Hariri assassination or issues of transitional justice.

Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, following democratic elections in which the opposition candidate, Alassanne Ouattara was clearly the winner, the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refuses to leave power. The United Nations, the Organization of West African States, and many countries have taken the position that the true results of the elections must be honored, and Gbagbo must step down.

Neighboring states have undertaken mediation efforts, but matters stand at a stalemate as of today, with the potential for renewed violence and civil war very great. Democracy is in the balance.

The situation is becoming more explosive. Six women demonstrators were reportedly killed by Gbagbo forces on March 3, 2011. A return to civil war looms.

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Evo Morales, the first indigenous president whose MAS movement has a two-thirds majority in the congress, has moved systematically to dismantle the independence of the courts and to neutralize his political opponents, including four ex-presidents and numerous officials in their governments, by threatening or bringing legal action against them for acts carried out while they were in power. Through a law passed by his two-thirds majority in Congress, and a new Constitution which is now interpreted by judges he has appointed without any checks and balances, he now appears to use the legal system and the threat or bringing criminal and other charges against his opponents to muzzle the democratic opposition in Bolivia.

While seemingly leading this assault on the rule of law within Bolivia, nonetheless, he has sought to position Bolivia and his government as champions of the international Green Movement. That movement, whose members tend to be strong supporters of fundamental human rights, including the rights to participate in government, freedom from ex post facto laws (nulla poena sine lege), and the right to a fair trial before an independent judiciary, have been extremely slow to turn their spotlight on the systematic violations of human rights in which the government has engaged.

Here, there are strong echoes of the silence of the French Communist Party in the face of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and human rights abuses of communist governments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union more generally. This silence was brilliantly illuminated by Costa-Gavras in his 1970 film, ´The Confession” (“L’aveu”).

Spain

Spain is a very special case because the country is a member of the European Union and also a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. The decisions of the European Court of Justice applying EU law are binding on the members of the Union. Part of this law is contained in “ the general principles of law” which the European Court of Justice and inferior courts apply. Increasingly, these have been held been held to include basic human rights. More directly, the European Court of Human Rights applies the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights in cases which come before it. Its decisions have binding effect in individual cases and enormous authority as case law or jurisprudence within countries that have ratified the Convention, including European nations and, in particular, Spain.

Consequently, Spain is less at risk of deviating in a fundamental and lasting way, from the fundamental precepts of democracy and the rule of law. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court of Spain has allowed the instruments of justice to be employed to violate the rights of a crusading investigating magistrate, Baltasar Garzón, forcing suspension from his position and threatening him with a penalty that would end his career.

What is particularly interesting about the Garzón case is that the Spanish Supreme Court has allowed the threat of removal from office to hang over Garzón, while both delaying his trial and rejecting motions by his lawyers to throw out the case—despite the fact that it is manifestly unfounded. Garzón’s position is supported by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Office of the Attorney General).

Even more remarkable is that the charge against Garzón, prevaricación” (willful decision against justice) is, acccording to reports, precisely one of the key instruments the government of Evo Morales has used—the offense known in Bolivia as “prevaricato”–to remove judges and other officials or to threaten them in order to force them to resign.

So there is a connection between the Garzón case in Spain and the dismantling of an independent judiciary and the judicial attack on its opponents apparently being carried out by the Morales government. in Bolivia. That connection is the abuse of judicial authority in order to stifle opponents, whether judges or former presidents.

In Spain, as in Bolivia though not to the same extent, democracy and the rule of law are in the balance.

The Trenchant Observer

www.trenchantobserver.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv
E-mail: observer@trenchantobserver.com

Comments are invited.

For related and more recent articles on the struggle for democracy in Libya and elsewhere, see:

Repression in Syria, and the spread of universal ideals throughout the world
May 11, 2011

Negotiating with War Criminals? Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #7 (May 4)
May 4, 2011

If Misrata falls…: Obama’s debacle in Libya– Update #6 (May 2)
May 2, 2011

Fierce Artillery Attacks on Misurata: Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #5 (May 1)
May 1, 2011

NATO Impotent: Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #4 (April 28)
April 29, 2011

The Human Cost: Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #3 (April 26)
April 26, 2011

Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #2 (April 23)
April 23, 2011

Obama’s Debacle in Libya — Update #1 (April 22)
April 22, 2011

Obama’s Debacle in Libya
April 21, 2011

Libya — “All necessary measures”
March 29, 2011

Current military actions in Libya
March 26, 2011

“Analyst-in-Chief” muddies waters; “Commander-in-Chief” cannot be found
March 22, 2011

Shooting Straight About Military Operations in Libya
March 21, 2011

While Carthage Burns, Obama Dithers
March 14, 2011

Zawiyah–Qaddafi’s victory, but stories will be told
March 10th, 2011

Libya—America Abdicates Global Leadership in Struggle for Democracy
March 10th, 2011

Zawiyah 2011 = Srebrenice 2005
March 8th, 2011

Libya and “The Audacity to Act”
March 6, 2011

Tribunal Supremo de Justicia rechaza apelación de Garzón para ordenar pruebas; quedan pendientes otros recursos

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

El Observador Incisivo

El Tribunal Supremo de Justicia de España ha rechazado la apelación del juez Baltasar Garzón del auto de Luciano Varela que denegó su solicitud de presentar pruebas de expertos en el derecho penal y el derecho penal internacional, en el caso de “La Memoria Histórica”.

El estado de ánimo, la intención de Garzón en los momentos de abrir y dictar resoluciones en el caso de la memoria histórico, constituye el elemento primordial del delito de prevaricación del cual está acusado. Las pruebas solicitadas tendrían como objeto demostrar que lo que él creía ser ajustado al derecho español y al derecho penal internacional representaba una creencia razonable.

El hecho de que su creencia era razonable le hace más difícil al promotor comprobar que actuaba contra la justicia “a sabiendas”, esto en el caso del artículo 446 (3). En el caso del Artiículo 447, le haría muy difícil al promotor comprobar que la actuación de Garzón fuera “por imprudencia grave o ignorancia inexcusable” al dictar una “sentencia o resolución manifiestamente injusta.”

Jurídicamente, no se requiere que Garzón tuviera la razón absoluta en el caso del Artículo 446 (3). En el caso del Artículo 447, la resolución dificilmente podría ser “manifiestamente injusta” si otros expertos en la materia creían que era correcta, a menos que existiera jurisprudencia legal obligatoria sobre la cuestión.

El texto del Artículo 446 (3) del Código Penal establece:

TÍTULO XX.
DELITOS CONTRA LA ADMINISTRACIÓN DE JUSTICIA.
CAPÍTULO I.
DE LA PREVARICACIÓN.

Artículo 446.

El Juez o Magistrado que, a sabiendas, dictare sentencia o resolución injusta será castigado:

1. Con la pena de prisión de uno a cuatro años si se trata de sentencia injusta contra el reo en causa criminal por delito y la sentencia no hubiera llegado a ejecutarse, y con la misma pena en su mitad superior y multa de doce a veinticuatro meses si se ha ejecutado. En ambos casos se impondrá, además, la pena de inhabilitación absoluta por tiempo de diez a veinte años.

2. Con la pena de multa de seis a doce meses e inhabilitación especial para empleo o cargo público por tiempo de seis a diez años, si se tratara de una sentencia injusta contra el reo dictada en proceso por falta.

3. Con la pena de multa de doce a veinticuatro meses e inhabilitación especial para empleo o cargo público por tiempo de diez a veinte años, cuando dictara cualquier otra sentencia o resolución injustas.

El Artículo 447 del Códígo confirma que las palabras “a sabiendas” del Artículo 446 es más que “imprudencia grave o ignorancia inexcusable,” lo que está sancionado con inhabilitación especial de hasta seis años. El Artiículo 447 establece lo siguiente:

Artículo 447.

El Juez o Magistrado que por imprudencia grave o ignorancia inexcusable dictara sentencia o resolución manifiestamente injusta incurrirá en la pena de inhabilitación especial para empleo o cargo público por tiempo de dos a seis años.

Véase The Tenchant Observer, “Se acusan a los acusadores de Garzón; el caso Garzón es una mancha en el Poder Judicial
de España,” 14 de Abril de 2010.

Así que, de un golpe, el Supremo deniega a Garzón elementos de prueba contundentes para establecer que era razonable lo que creía requerido por el derecho, y de ahí la falta de mala intención de su parte, en el momento de abrir y actuar en el caso de la memoria histórico.

Por lo demás, informa El País,

Es decir, que el tribunal quiere pronunciarse lo justito, porque los cinco magistrados que firman la resolución y que ya han resuelto cuestiones que afectan al fondo del asunto, quieren ser los que juzguen a Garzón por estos hechos. Varios magistrados de otros tribunales y catedráticos no se explican este empecinamiento de estos magistrados de la Sala Segunda en ser ellos los que juzguen a Garzón. Estas fuentes consideran que una eventual condena de Garzón de seguir este procedimiento sería anulado por el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos por falta de imparcialidad, ya que el tribunal que instruye no puede juzgar y esta Sala ha resuelto en apelación extremos que afectan al fondo del asunto, por lo que estarían claramente contaminados. Los citados magistrados y catedráticos no comprenden por qué el Supremo no designa a otros magistrados -la Sala la integran 15 jueces- para juzgar el caso y salvar el problema. Pero el caso es que son estos los que van a juzgar a Garzón.

–José Yoldi, “El Supremo rechaza las pruebas pedidas por Garzón para su defensa,” El País, el 8 de setiembre de 2010

Quedan pendientes, en tanto, otros recursos de Garzón relacionados al caso de la memoria histórico. Estos inclyen recursos de nulidad de las actuaciones, a los cuales no ha respondido el Supremo Tribunal de Justicia no obstante el largo tiempo transcurrido. Informa El País:

La Sala Segunda del Supremo llevaba cuatro meses sin resolver nada en este asunto desde que el juez instructor, Luciano Varela, notificó siete resoluciones en un mismo día.

Dos de los recursos fueron de nulidad de actuaciones planteados por el abogado de Baltasar Garzón, Gonzalo Martínez Fresneda, y a los que se adhirió el fiscal con un escrito con notoria contundencia. El letrado denunciaba que Varela había instruido a los querellantes Manos Limpias sobre la forma en la que tenían que presentar su escrito de acusación. Aunque retiraron varias páginas que habían sido literalmente copiadas de un auto de Varela, éste les indicó qué aspectos tenían que incluir en su escrito, lo que suponía una vulneración del principio de igualdad de armas en el proceso, ya que ayudaba a una de las partes en contra de otra.

El fiscal se adhirió a los recursos de apelación planteados por la defensa de Garzón en términos muy duros.

–El País, 8 de setiembre de 2010

Véase también “Garzón, más cerca de un juicio injusto,”
Nuevatribuna.es, 21 de setiembre de 2010.

Parece casi seguro, ahora, que los magistrados de la sala segunda penal del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia que denegaron las pruebas solicitadas por Garzón (Juan Saavedra, Adolfo Prego, Joaquín Jiménez, Francisco Monterde y Juan Ramón Berdugo), y que han tardado tanto en fallar sobre los demás recursos de Garzón, pasarán a la historia como actores principales en este caso increíble.

No es una exageración afirmar que este caso riesga de convertirse en algo como el caso Dreyfus de España, pero ya a la altura del año 2010 del siglo veintiuno.

Es lamentable que un judicatura altamente politizada no aprecie el importe histórico de lo que está haciendo. Bien que llegara a absolver a Garzón, en última instancia, el daño a la credibilidad del Poder Judicial español y a la sociedad española ya se habrá producido.

Es una pena.

El Observador Incisivo
(The Trenchant Observer)

Véase también www.congarzón.com.