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Renowned Spanish Judge Goes on Trial, Accused of Abusing Power
MADRID — Baltasar Garzón, a high-profile Spanish judge who garnered international renown by pursuing political leaders, including Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile, was himself on trial on Tuesday over accusations that he had abused his powers to investigate atrocities committed during the Spanish Civil War.
The case is one of three trials focusing on Judge Garzón, who had spearheaded Spain’s fight against political corruption and against terrorism by ETA, the Basque separatist group.
Last week, a separate trial began over whether Judge Garzón had ordered illegal eavesdropping as part of a corruption investigation. The case that opened on Tuesday follows Judge Garzón’s indictment by a fellow judge in early 2010 on charges that he overreached his authority in pursuit of civil war abuses.
The case, which on Tuesday focused on procedural issues, has drawn international resonance and criticism. Amnesty International has called the proceeding against the judge “a threat to human rights and judicial independence.”