Spain’s Supreme Court investigating magistrate Luciano Varela has announced the prosecution of Judge Baltasar Garzon on charges of abuse of power will go ahead. Varela said that Garzon has knowingly ignored a 1977 amnesty law by launching an investigation into the disappearances of tens of thousands of Spanish citizens in the country’s civil war in the 1930s and the Franco regime that followed. The case was brought by a right-wing group called Manos Limpias (Clean Hands). Baltasar Garzon is famous for his efforts to have former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet extradited to Spain. If found guilty in the abuse-of-power case, Judge Garzon could be disbarred for 20 years. The amnesty law pardoned politically motivated crimes committed by both sides. By guaranteeing that the past would not be raked over, it underpinned Spain’s delicate transition from dictatorship to democracy. (Radio Netherlands, BBC)

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