Speaking during the opening day of Judge Baltasar Garzón's trial, on charges that he overstepped his authority by illegally opening an investigation into crimes committed during the 1936-39 Civil War and ensuing Franco dictatorship, the Supreme Court's chief prosecutor publicly called for the case to be dropped.
Luis Navajas sided with Garzón's defense team, which called for a dismissal of the case because the briefs filed by complainants were "not valid for prosecution." The Supreme Court recessed until next Tuesday to consider the arguments.
"This shows the total impunity of the crimes of Francoism," Marco González of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory told Reuters outside the court. "It's not just Garzón who is being judged today, but the right of people to search for vanished loved ones, for there to be a little justice, truth and reparation."
"Given Judge Baltasar Garzón's success at investigating and prosecuting crimes under international law around the world, it beggars belief that Spanish judicial authorities would seek to prevent him from investigating such crimes in Spain," said Hugo Relva, legal advisor at Amnesty International, who is in Madrid to observe the trial.