SPANISH judge Baltasar Garzon has been found guilty of tapping conversations between corruption suspects and their defence lawyers.
Garzon has been banned from the legal profession for 11 years, in the first of three cases against him.
The Supreme Court ruled that 56-year-old Garzon, a human rights judge who achieved world fame after ordering the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, would not be allowed to appeal.
Garzon, apparently ‘tremendously affected’ by his senteince, is said to be investigating whether he can take the case to the Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights.
Garzon is also facing power abuse charges after ordering in 2008 an investigation into the disappearance of 113,000 people during Spain’s Civil War and the subsequent Franco dictatorship.
At the time, the prosecution argues, the alleged crimes were protected by an amnesty.
A third case accuses Garzon accepting bribes from Santander Bank.
The outcome of the second and third cases is expected to be decided within the next few weeks.
To discover more about Garzon, see our feature Where justice meets farce: Garzon, the Spanish ‘superjudge’