Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's Luciano Varela problem?

The supreme court judge Luciano Varela who is responsible for accepting the case against Garzon seems to really have something against Garzon.

Varela is hardly a crusader against corrupt judges. Last year when fellow judge Francisco Javier de Urquía was convicted of bribery and prevarication, on appeal, Varela threw out the conviction of prevarication and reduced the sentence for bribery to the minimum allowed by law.

(Even more amusing is that earlier this year Urquía was convicted again, this time for accepting a 60,000 euros bribe in exchange for granting bail to a suspect.)

The amazing thing about the indictment of Garzon is that not only does Varela accuse Garzon of exceeding his powers for the investigation of crimes during the time of Franco, he actually accuses Garzon of knowingly and with prevarication exceeding his powers.

Even if you hate Garzon, it is clear that there is a fair amount of disagreement among experts about whether the amnesty law covers crimes against humanity (in fact, even the supreme court itself wasn't unanimous in quashing Garzon's investigation). To argue that everyone who disagrees is operating in bad faith is quite a stretch.

In addition, Varela was completely unwilling to listen to any of the testimony that Garzon was asking for, basically complaining "Why should I have to listen to the opinion of other jurists?"

The big question for me is why Varela is going absolutely ape-shit crazy in his accusations. It feels like Garzon ran over his dog or something.

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