29 Feb, 2012 @ 10:00
1 min read

Justice for superjudge

COMMENT by Antonio Flores

‘GARZON has fallen down the precipice of ridicule for his defying arrogance and contempt of the Supreme Court.’

The comment by Javier Gomez de Liano, former friend and fellow magistrate of the Audiencia Nacional and coincidentally also struck off for abuse of power, seems to encapsulate the feeling shared by many legal professionals.

The magistrate,  once hailed as a fighter for universal human rights, has pursued members of the former military rule in Argentina, indicted Osama bin Laden, investigated alleged abuses at Guantanamo Bay and investigated tax fraud accusations against former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

However, for many he was vain, conceited, ambitious, and ideologically and politically too close to the Spanish left-wing, having served as a Socialist Party MP in 1993.

And while enjoying a second leave, he engaged in notorious extra-curricular activities, charging handsomely as a lecturer at conferences in the U.S, mostly financed by Santander bank, among other companies, which was happy to cough up 1.2 million US dollars to back a magistrate who had the temerity, or cheek, to send his missives on Audiencia Nacional letter-headed paper.

It is probably the excessive inclination to two causes (socialism and money, somewhat incongruously) that tipped the scales against him. And now he is being punished for it.

In the first of three Supreme Court cases, for which he has been suspended till 2023, he illegally wiretapped conversations between remand prisoners and their lawyers in a corruption case involving Mariano Rajoy, leader of the People’s Party (PP).

He was found guilty unanimously by a panel of seven magistrates.

The last case relates to his obsession with resurrecting Franco’s regime and prosecuting his party officials, allegedly exceeding his jurisdiction.

These excesses were confirmed when he requested proof of the dictator’s demise by requesting an original death certificate, and ordered the investigation of alleged fascist massacres, while refusing to deal with killings by the Republicans.

He was however acquitted of these crimes by the Supreme Court on Monday.

And as a final twist, the Law Society in Ecuador has declared him persona non grata by unanimity, and announced they will sue him for embezzlement of funds.

So while one cannot deny he was a brave, bright and innovative judge, for too many this display of utter contempt for the justice that he once dispensed, when in office, was too much to bear in a modern democracy and thus his professional demise comes to prove that nobody, not even Garzon, is above the law.

Contact Antonio at Lawbird Legal Services. Edificio Alfil Floor 4, Ricardo Soriano, 19 – 4B, 29601 Marbella, Malaga (Spain)  Phone: +34 952 861890 – [email protected] – www.lawbird.com

James Bryce

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  1. Quite aside from the obvious bias in this article, what is the point of publishing something that is already out of date? Garzon has been cleared in the case relating to his investigating of the Franco-era crimes.

  2. Doug,
    obvious bias – in spades. Alleged Fascist massacres – what a sick statement to make.

    As for – no one is above the law – only the old Fascist families are but that’s OK for Antonio Flores.

    Can’t the Olive Press find a different Spanish lawyer who is’nt so blatantly representing the interests of the extreme Right and trying to re-write history to boot.

  3. Stuart, I’ve never heard a ‘right-wing extremist’ use the term ‘Fascist’, or fight the banking system with such intensity (google “Rothschild spain” and you will understand what I mean). Think twice, perhaps you are the extremist here.

  4. Stuart, you are making funny assumptions here. No, I’m not a banker. Unfortunately, I’m on the other side, I’m a victim of the banking system, and Antonio is my solicitor, and so far has managed to prevent the repossession of my house by the bank, because of an equity release product I was duped into signing. He has done much more for me and many others than any super-judge blinded by ideology, ambition and money, who was happy to favour bankers in exchange of bribery. Express your own views, but respect those of others.

  5. Michael – self interest – why did’nt you declare that immediately,verey deceitful that was’nt it?

    You were’nt duped into the equity release scheme, you simply failed to check out this scheme before signing, never checked out any gaurantees,if there were any. Never used the internet to see all the risks with these schemes. Failed to see how they were linked to market performance in short you screwed yourself.

    Your politics are plain for all to see and you are in denial if you can’t see that your lawyer is undoubtedly from an old fascist family who point blank refuses to accept what happened under the Franco regime.

    I have to say that I’ll bet all those who suckered themselves with these schemes are right wing – ha -ha you got screwed by your own, was’nt it always so.

    Also very stupid to assume that I am left wing in any way – all organised politics and religion are power plays favouring the elite at the expense of the many – what part of this don’t you understand!

    Anyone who has access to the i/net and who is too stupid or lazy to check out these scams has only themselves to blame – what you can’t handle is that you have been a chump and that’s for sure.

  6. ll,
    in the Harvey’s thread you admit to breaking the rules and then start a hypocritical tirade against me which has no basis in reality – now that is an insult.

    Michael has only self interest – that this lawyer denies history was irrelevant to him – now that was a direct insult to all those Spanish who had members of their families murdered by Franco’s killers – does’nt seem to matter to you either.

    Equity release schemes have had a notorious reputation for decades in the UK and yet there are two English who got sucked in and accept no blame whatsoever for their self induced problems, talk about denial sydrome – they could be Spanish.

    Why did they and others put their second most important asset class/their homes into play – gambling in the equity casino. Do you or they know which is their most important asset class?

    Did they take all the brochures home with them to examine all the terms and conditions apertaining to the contract and if they did’nt understand – google and if they were’nt given any material to examine and check out (highly unlikely) did’nt it strike them as fishy?

    Were these contracts not pegged to an indice – stock markets or as I have read elsewhere to a Spanish property indice – now that really should make anyone with half a brain take 10 steps backward.

    Have they really been out of touch with the real world all their lives not to know that markets/commodities are always cyclical.

    At the time they and a lot of others were taking out these contracts, stupidly thinking that they could only come out ahead LOL, a lot of others were placing their capital at risk pegging their investments to market indices – these mugs (and some lost considerable amounts of money)could only see the upside.

    And even when they had the gaurantee of 100% capital return, which was rare, they forgot that over 5 years which many of these contracts were, did’nt take account of inflation so, in reality they were actually losing at least 25% of their capital in inflation erosoion.

    LL – their misfortunes were entirely of their own making, they were’nt children and they thought they were on a one way bet and indeed they were but not in the direction they had imagined.

    Don’t make investments pegged to markets or indices that you don’t understand.

    LL take a look at what you posted on the Harvey’s thread – you are an un-informed woman who really has’nt got a clue and yet still mouths off

  7. Dear Stuart, please try to put your apostrophes in the right place = ‘does’nt’ should be ‘doesn’t’, ‘has’nt’ should be ‘hasn’t’. And before you say otherwise, I think Garzon is a brave man who has strong views and has followed his beliefs. It was only a matter of time before the right wing establishment came calling for him. Nothing wrong with him doing a lecture tour BTW, and being paid for it; nothing sinister in that. Plus, regarding the wire tappiing, perhaps more of those conversations between felons and their corrupt lawyers should be monitored – Garzon had the balls to do it.

  8. What we know of the Garzon phone-tapping incident is all that those in power want us to know. None of us have any idea of the cover-ups and red-herrings utilised in cases like this.
    Garzon presumably initiated the phone-tapping in the knowledge that Mariano Rajoy could one day be Prime Minister. Maybe he considered that possibility an important justification. Well, now that possibility is realised perhaps we’ll never know what it was all about.
    11 years seems a sentence out of all proportion to the offence, which appears to have been in the public interest, even if illegal.
    Flamboyant, populist, always in the public domain, we need investigators like that, trying to penetrate the dark dealings of the corrupt. This popularity, a thorn in the side for his adversaries, gave him some protection, but maybe this incident was a step too far. We may never know.
    Regarding the 1977 Amnesty and Garzon’s attempted investigations, it has to be remembered that although horrendous crimes were committed by both the left and right during the Civil War, it was Franco who held power for nearly 40 years, during which time the huge numbers of killings continued to mount. That seems justification enough to ignore the Amnesty in the name of justice.

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