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Human rights judge Garzon acquitted for Franco-era crime probe

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-27

A Madrid court acquitted Spanish judge Balthasar Garzon on Tuesday of an alleged breach of amnesty by investigating Franco-era crimes, including the disappearances of anti-government dissidents.

AFP - Spain's renowned rights judge Baltasar Garzon was on Monday acquitted in a prominent trial for trying to probe atrocities of the Franco era in an alleged breach of an amnesty.

The Madrid court's acquittal, announced by a judicial official, came after the 56-year-old was suspended from the bench for 11 years for illegally ordering wiretaps in a separate corruption case.

The February 9 verdict, which Garzon is appealing, halted the rise of a judge who won global renown by trying to extradite Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet from London in 1998.

He has also taken on Basque militants and even Al-Qaeda.

Garzon argues the atrocities, including thousands of forced disappearances during the Civil War and General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, were crimes against humanity and not subject to an amnesty.

His defenders argue that all three cases are a form of revenge by the many enemies he has made.

Date created : 2012-02-27

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