Garzón: Career ruined even if cleared

May 12, 2011

Judge Garzón said yesterday that even if he is cleared of the charges brought against him in three pending cases before the Spanish Supreme Court, his ability to do his job at his post on the National Criminal Court (Audiencia Nacional) will be severely compromised, Reuters reports:

“Any interested party could use as an argument in his defence the fact that the judge has been on trial… for his independent interpretation of the law,” Garzon told a news conference.  The Supreme Court decided in April to try him for violating the rights of defendants in a corruption case involving members of the opposition Popular Party (PP), by ordering phone taps of suspects’ calls with their lawyers.  Garzon, who has been suspended and may end up in the dock before the defendants themselves, says he ordered the taps to monitor any possible attempt by the suspects to use their lawyers to launder proceeds from the corruption ring.  “I was trying to balance two rights: the fundamental rights of the defence, as well as the rights of the public, for these crimes to be investigated,” he said, adding that there were signs that money laundering was still going on at the time he authorised the taps.

More here.