Third Garzón case ready for trial

January 28, 2012

Spanish Supreme Court Judge Manuel Marchena, in charge of the third case pending against Garzón, concluded the investigative stage yesterday with a brief charging the Judge with “cohecho impropio,” that is, the appearance of bribery by accepting a gift from an interested party. Marchena has significantly downscaled the original charge of prevarication, or knowingly exceeding one’s authority.  Also noteworthy is that the brief in effect charges New York University with purposely shady accounting practices, which supposedly allowed Garzón to receive money from the Spanish corporate sponsors who supported a series of seminars that Garzón organized while on a visiting position at NYU–and who allegedly did so only because Garzón was an influential judge.

NYU has consistently denied the charges, as have the corporate sponsors, who have a long history supporting programs at the university. In an editorial today, El País states that “This one is, surely, the weakest and most nonsensical of the cases against Garzón, and Marchena’s brief only increases the size of the nonsense.”

Curiously, Marchena is part of the tribunal that is currently deciding Garzón’s fate in the case of the alleged illegal wiretaps of suspects in a political corruption case, whose trial concluded last week. A second trial, in which Garzón is charged with knowingly breaking the law when ordering an investigation of Francoist crimes, is resuming on Tuesday.