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Garzón takes Franco fight to European Court of Human Rights

Judge contests indictment owing to complaints from far-right groups over Civil War crimes probe

Baltasar Garzón, the High Court judge currently under suspension for over-reaching his brief by launching an investigation into Franco-era crimes, has called on the European Court of Human Rights to rule on the case. No trial has been set in Spain as Garzón moved to have several Supreme Court judges recused from the case for lack of impartiality.

The suit was filed with the Strasbourg court by London-based International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (Interights), which is representing Garzón. A European Court of Human Rights spokesman on Friday confirmed the request had been received and said a decision on whether to act or not will be taken in due course.

Garzón was indicted by the Supreme Court and suspended last year after complaints from far-right groups in Spain that the probe violated the 1977 Amnesty Law. He later took up a temporary position at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"Judge Garzón's case represents a threat to the independence of judges and to their role in ensuring accountability for alleged widespread and systematic crimes," Interights said in a statement.