More coverage of Garzón’s wiretap case

April 12, 2011

Some additional English-language coverage from the Associated Press:

In his latest altercation with the Spanish legal system, Garzon was probing a network of businesses that allegedly paid money and gifts to members of Spain’s conservative opposition Popular Party in exchange for lucrative contracts in towns and regions governed by that party. As part of the investigation, in February 2009 he ordered illegal jailhouse wiretaps of conversations in which three suspects behind glass partitions spoke by phone with their lawyers. Garzon argued that he thought the lawyers might be acting as liaisons with other people in the alleged corruption ring, and he hoped to turn up incriminating evidence.  But weeks later he ordered an extension of the bugs even after it had become clear that the initial conversations had been for the most part simply about defence strategy, the Supreme Court said in a 17-page indictment issued Monday. No date has been set for his trial, as he has launched a motion challenging the impartiality of judges due to try him. The civil war case has also been held up because Garzon’s legal team has challenged the impartiality of most of the seven judges who would oversee it. But Garzon received support later Monday from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who said the new indictment will not change his desire for the judge to help monitor a process to disarm and demobilize Colombian paramilitary members.

More here.