Garzón is going to The Hague

May 18, 2010

The self-chosen “political exile” to The Hague of investigative magistrate Baltasar Garzón has been unexpectedly approved by Spain’s General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ)–albeit not as a formal leave of absence (excedencia). Garzón had requested a seven-month leave to serve as special advisor on crimes against humanity to the Chief Prosecutor of the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court, the Argentine Luis Moreno Ocampo. The decision by the CGPJ follows on the heels of its vote, this past Friday, to suspend the judge–a purely procedural decision in response to the opening of a trial against Garzón, Wednesday last week, by Supreme Court Justice Luciano Varela. Because the Council is not granting Garzón a formal leave of absence, it is not clear whether Garzón will be able to maintain his position at Spain’s national criminal court, or Audiencia Nacional. The Council refused to comment on this matter in response to questions from the media. See for English-language coverage here.