JUDICIARY

Judge Garzón pardon request was lost for over a year

Petition for magistrate’s suspension to be lifted was filed in mid-2012 but no action has been taken

The suspended High Court judge, Baltasar Garzón.
The suspended High Court judge, Baltasar Garzón.CLAUDIO ÁLVAREZ

Although the petition filed by European Judges for Democracy and Liberty (Medel) for the absolution of suspended Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón was filed 20 months ago, it was only in October that it was given any attention; because its whereabouts before that were unknown.

The Justice Ministry said it had forwarded the paperwork to the Supreme Court on June 29, 2012, along with seven other petitions to be studied by the court’s pardons panel. All of the other requests have since been resolved, but that concerning Garzón — who was suspended from his duties for 11 years in 2012 for illegally recording prison telephone conversations between suspected ringleaders of the Gürtel corruption network and their lawyers — remains open. Supreme Court sources say the files never arrived.

The processing of pardon requests has a time limit, generally a maximum of one year. Therefore, in September the ministry asked the court if the Medel documentation had been received. Finally on October 9 the files were resent to the Supreme Court, which officially entered them into the record.