Friday, September 24

Garzón, after the opinion of the Human Rights committee: “The only way to compensate for the damage is to regain my position”

Baltasar Garzón reacted this Thursday to the opinion of the UN Human Rights committee: “The damage has already been done and it has been immense. The only way to compensate it is to reinstate myself in my position and in my category of magistrate.” In a statement from the Human Rights in Practice firm, which represents Garzón, the former judge has assessed the committee’s decision, which concluded on Wednesday that the Supreme Court violated his presumption of innocence and did not guarantee him a fair process.

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The letter from the UN body, to which had access, considers that the sentence to 11 years of disqualification for tapping the phones of lawyers of the main defendants in the Gürtel case, which the then magistrate instructed from the National Court, followed an “arbitrary” process, and therefore demands “full reparation” from Garzón.

In the statement released this Thursday, the former magistrate insists on the damage suffered for more than a decade as a result of the high court’s decision: “The damage has already been done and has been immense. I have suffered it for eleven years, day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute, for an arbitrary and unfair decision. ” For Garzón, what he experienced as a result of that judicial decision is “it is the worst thing that can happen to a person who has dedicated and dedicates his entire life to Justice: the loss of the status of judge in an arbitrary way.”

Thus, in addition to requesting the reinstatement of his post and his position as magistrate, the lawyer asks Spain to adopt measures to prevent “similar violations in the future”. “Spain now has the obligation to make comprehensive reparation for the rights that have been violated, it must erase my criminal record and provide me with adequate compensation for the damage suffered,” he asks.

Garzón thus aligns himself with the request of the UN committee, which, as part of a “comprehensive reparation” that he demands, asks that he erase his criminal record and provide him with “adequate compensation” within a period of six months to “guarantee a effective reparation “for the injured rights.

This resolution puts an end to six years of investigation that began with Garzón’s own complaint, who claimed to have been the victim of “persecution and reprisals” for the investigations he led into the Gürtel case and the crimes of the Franco regime. After analyzing the allegations provided by the Spanish State, the UN body protects Judge Garzón with a forceful report.

From the outset, remember that the decision to tap the phones of the lawyers of the main Gürtel defendants was adopted at the request of the police, it had the support of the Prosecutor’s Office, which, as the magistrate also saw signs of criminal activity in the lawyers, and it was extended by the judge who replaced Garzón in the investigation. The UN body also sides with Garzón on the lack of impartiality of some of the judges who convicted him.

“I am happy with this resolution. I am personally, family and professionally happy; I am for everyone and all those who have always believed in me, in the honesty of my work,” Garzón said after hearing the report, while he has maintained that he is “especially happy” for the victims “who are still waiting for Justice in the case of Franco.”

The president of Human Rights in Practice, Hellen Duffy, who has represented the former magistrate throughout this process, has also welcomed the resolution of the United Nations body, which she has described as a “late but important vindication” for him. But it goes further: “[El dictamen] it reaffirms and clarifies the essential guarantees of judicial independence, at a time when they are under global attack. ”