Garzón: I hope to return to the Audiencia Nacional

July 23, 2010

Front page of El País, Wednesday July 21, 2010

In an interview with El País published on Wednesday, investigative magistrate Baltasar Garzón–suspended while under investigation for allegedly overstepping his judicial boundaries when he initiated an investigation of crimes against humanity committed during the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship–expressed his desire to return to his post at the Audiencia Nacional, the national criminal court. The embattled judge took a break from his work at the International Criminal Court, where he works as a special advisor, to direct a summer course in his hometown near Jaén. Asked whether a country can dispel its historical memory, he said: “It is not only difficult, but a mistake. The decision whether to forget, just like the decision to  forgive or to remember, is one for an individual to make. But official forgetting is not advisable, as history has shown. Wounds only heal if they are cleaned before they are sutured.”(“Es difícil y, además, es una equivocación. El olvido, como el perdón o la memoria, corresponde al patrimonio de cada uno. Pero los olvidos oficiales son malos consejeros y a lo largo de la historia se ha comprobado. Las heridas, para que sanen, y antes de ser suturadas, tienen que ser limpiadas.”) With regard to his future, Garzón said that, if he is cleared from wrongdoing in the cases currently running against him, “Obviously it is my intention to return to my post at the Audiencia Nacional, independent of any decision I might take later on.” (“Obviamente, mi intención, si la causa concluye favorable a mí, es recuperar el puesto de la Audiencia Nacional sin perjuicio de la decisión que uno tome en su vida posteriormente.”) More here.