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Spanish Superjudge To Represent Assange 196

Posted by timothy
from the special-uniforms-all-around dept.
First time accepted submitter ccguy writes "Spanish ex-judge Balsazar Garzón will represent wikileak's Julian Assange in his extradiction case. In the past 30 years Garzón has led the most important investigations in Spain: Against drug cartels, against terrorist groups (ETA), and against corruption. He's also famous for his attempt to extradite Chilean dictator Pinochet to Spain to judge him for crimes against humanity. In his last investigation Garzón ordered in-prison conversations between corrupt politicians and their lawyers to be monitored. This is legal in Spain if the goal is to prevent further crimes to be committed (such as the inmate telling his lawyer to destroy evidence, or offshore funds). This caused Garzón to be disbarred as a judge. The president of the Supreme Court that signed this disbarment (Carlos Dívar) was later on made to resign, after it was discovered that he used taxpayers' money for deluxe vacations."
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Spanish Superjudge To Represent Assange

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  • needs more prefixes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @09:47AM (#40776447)

    Since he was removed from his judgeship, he'd be an ex-super-judge, no? Or perhaps a super-ex-judge?

  • Meta Judge (Score:5, Funny)

    by Grindalf (1089511) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @09:53AM (#40776515) Journal
    Will our Talented Framed Swedish Honey-trap Victim and Hero escape? Tune into the next episode of Assange ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @09:54AM (#40776535)

    Superjudge [wikimedia.org]

    Superman [blogspot.com]

    You be the... "judge".

  • Does this character even have any legal standing in England or Sweden? He certainly doesn't in Spain.

    No way would this get me out of that embassy.

    • Re:Nice stunt (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:04AM (#40776657)
      He is banned from practicing law in Spain but can still practice anywhere else in Europe. The reason he was unseated in Spain was for issuing illegal wiretaps on member of the government that were suspected of corruption. Kind of like if you pointed out some serious flaws in your supervisor's business plan and were then fired for it.
      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:18AM (#40776805)

        illegal wiretaps, though?

        he should apply for US citizenship!

      • Re:Nice stunt (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rei (128717) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:18AM (#40776807) Homepage

        Well, the wikipedia article on him [wikipedia.org] makes it sound a lot more complicated than that, in that "Under Spanish law, such wiretaps are only expressly permitted for terrorism cases and the legality of their use in other cases is more vague". There were a number of other charges too.

        From the sound of it, he was a very popular judge among the left because he went hard after members of the former Franco government for crimes against humanity. But he sounds like he at the very least "bent the rules" to do so, and the right in Spain was more than willing to take him down for it.

      • Re:Nice stunt (Score:5, Informative)

        by ccguy (1116865) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:21AM (#40776865) Homepage

        He is banned from practicing law in Spain

        He isn't banned from practicing law. He's banning for the judicial career, but he has a law degree (obviously) and he can work as a lawyer.
        Keep in mind that this guy has worked with lots of international agencies, and apparently he's found the people with the largest balls in each. Otherwise Pinochet wouldn't have spent almost a year in London, for example.

        The reason he was unseated in Spain was for issuing illegal wiretaps on member of the government that were suspected of corruption.

        Suspected as in jail no less. He ordered a wiretapping indeed, and everyone else in the process agreed, to make sure that the people in jail wouldn't use their lawyers to continue to commit crimes. In fact, the tapes proved that they were doing so.
        To be honest the reason I submitted the story (one date late indeed, but I expected an Assange story to appear rather quickly) is to bring a bit of awareness on Garzon's story as well as the blatant corruption going on over here (Spain).
        We really owe a lot to this guy, even if the end it seems like the bad guys are getting their way.

        • Re:Nice stunt (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pjabardo (977600) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @11:15AM (#40777617)
          It is incredible that even after almost 40 years, the judicial system in Spain still looks pretty much the same as in Franco's time. By the way things are going, every mobster should get a law degree. This way they can argue that every conversation they have should be protected by attorney/client privilege. As I understand the case, that's how they got rid of Garzón.
      • How can he practice law elsewhere? Law is not engineering. It is specific to each country. Some countries, others like france have a "civil code". Basically all that you've learned to practice in your country is meaningless to practice in another. While he might provide advice, I don't see how he could be a lawyer anywhere else but Spain. I haven't read TFA, so I'm not sure what he's going to actually do, but it cannot be actual representation in court.

    • Re:Nice stunt (Score:4, Informative)

      by jbssm (961115) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @11:06AM (#40777483)

      Does this character even have any legal standing in England or Sweden? He certainly doesn't in Spain.

      Think before you write. Baltasar Garzon had to give up being a judge in Spain... not a lawyer. And, he is acting as Assange's lawyer, not as its judge, obviously.

  • On extradition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by metrix007 (200091) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:07AM (#40776707)

    Curious what the /, groupthink thinks of his attempt to extradite a Chilean and try him for crimes in a separate country. We all know the opinion on the US doing it, but what about Spain?

    • Re:On extradition (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#40776793)

      Spain claims worldwide jurisdiction over certain crimes, though I think they only try to enforce it in the Spanish-speaking portion of the world. The War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague claims worldwide jurisdiction over certain crimes as well.

      Both are fine with me, as long as they use legal means to attempt extradition, and stick to prosecuting mass murderer, genocide, etc., against people who would never be tried in their home countries. Some morality has to be global, and any reasonable person can differentiate between basic, fundamental morality and things that reasonably vary from culture to culture. Slippery-slope arguments to the contrary are fallacious.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apilosov (1810)

        Your mass murderer is someone else's freedom fighter. Certainly a number of countries would feel that way about George Washington for example.

        There's no global morality. Chile certainly disagreed about morality of extraditing Pinochet - that makes it not "global". What's the rule for "global" then, 50%? 75%? What if all Islamic countries decide that since usury is *very* clearly immoral, all US bankers should be extradited there for a trial?

        • The US has evidently declared internet gambling immoral and will find a way to get you here to throw your ass in jail, so the thought of other countries trying what you say isn't out of the question, it's just the US has a rather big stick to beat the world with at this time. Just wait till China gets to use theirs.

          I'm pretty sure the UK does still feel that way about Washington based on what I read on internet forums.

          • by tolan-b (230077)

            I'm pretty sure very, very, few people in the UK give a flying fuck about George Washington. What forums are you reading?

            Or are you taking jokes about "the colonials" a little too literally?

        • by hey! (33014)

          Well, it depends on the nature of the crime and the system in which the suspect is tried.

          Consider the US drone assassination program. The crime is conspiring to attack innocent civilians -- so far so good. The trial system of "guilty if you can't survive a Hellfire missile strike," could use some work.

      • by Teun (17872)
        Almost right is still wrong.

        Spain claims jurisdiction over crimes committed to Spanish citizen wherever committed.
        The War Crimes Tribunal does not claim worldwide jurisdiction, it has jurisdiction in many places due to signed and ratified international treaties.

        So the fact the USofA as so far failed to ratify such a treaty means the tribunal accepts it has no jurisdiction over what US citizen do in the US.

    • by ccguy (1116865)

      Curious what the /, groupthink thinks of his attempt to extradite a Chilean and try him for crimes in a separate country. We all know the opinion on the US doing it, but what about Spain?

      The grounds for the extradition request where that he killed and tortured Spanish citizens.

    • Re:On extradition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:32AM (#40777001) Homepage

      Assange is accused of rape and espionage. Pinochet was accused and convicted of ordering the torture of over 40,000 people and murder of over 3000 (not even counting his violent overthrow of a democratically elected government). Assange's crimes, whatever they may be, are in no way equivalent to Pinochet's crimes against humanity [wikipedia.org].

      • by tucuxi (1146347)
        You seem not to have RTFA - Garzon is to be Assange's defendant, not his prosecutor or judge. In the Pinochet case, he was to be the judge. Two very different roles.
        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          The point was that GP was not so subtly accusing most Slashdotters of hypocracy by supporting a guy who extradited Pinochet and opposing the people who want to extradite Assange, implying that those two positions were inconsistent. My argument was simply that the two situations are vastly different, and thus treating them differently is in no way inconsistent (and in fact would be in keeping with international law).

      • Re:On extradition (Score:5, Informative)

        by jbssm (961115) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @11:14AM (#40777605)

        Assange is accused of rape and espionage.

        First, Assange is certainly not being extradited, accused of espionage nowhere in Sweden or in the UK... obviously. That is just some USA wet dream.

        Second, the only dumb enough people to use the term "rape" for what he did, are the Swedish. He had sex, by mutual consent with a woman, and she found out the condom broke. Assage claims he didn't know (may be true or not, but it happened to me before and I can tell you, it's not very easy to know the exact conditions of a condom around your penis when you are inside a woman), strange enough she continued having intimate relations with Assage for some time after that, as did the other "victim" clamming the same. It was only when the two lucky girls found out we was not faithful to them, that they decided to press charges... talk about a moral high ground here.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          Second, the only dumb enough people to use the term "rape" for what he did, are the Swedish.

          Go and read the various UK court rulings on the matter - in one of them the Judge actually affirmed that the things Assange was being extradited for would also be classed as rape in the UK.

          The problem is that no one on Slashdot gives a fuck about the truth in the Assange case, they just like to spout bullshit catch phrases such as yours, rubbish about "swedish rape"...

          http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-judgment.pdf [judiciary.gov.uk]

          Points 70 onwards, discussing the "dual criminality" (that

          • by jbssm (961115)

            Go and read the various UK court rulings on the matter - in one of them the Judge actually affirmed that the things Assange was being extradited for would also be classed as rape in the UK.

            Just because a judge in the UK is as dumb (or as politically biased) as his Swedish counterpart, doesn't make your argument any better.

            And just for the sake of the integrity of your character, perhaps you should mention that one of the "victims" is a feminist nut job know as Radfem Anna Ardin who had published on her blog “Rebella” a list of how women could legally take revenge on an unfaithful partner – including sabotage of his new relationship, enticing his new partner to be unfaithfu

        • by Rei (128717)

          That is not in the slightest bit accurate [judiciary.gov.uk]. Or, for a more concise but less referenced version, here [guardian.co.uk].

          • by jbssm (961115)

            That is not in the slightest bit accurate [judiciary.gov.uk]. Or, for a more concise but less referenced version, here [guardian.co.uk].

            From your own sources: The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had "done something" with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.

            Well, this guy's penins, must be 1 in 5 bilions, cause it willingly seems to be able to "do something" to condoms and rip them at its own will.
            Please give us all a break. The fact that "rape" cases in Sweden are 8 times higg

        • by Rei (128717)

          Of course, knowing how people tend to shut out any conflicting information once they've made up their mind, I'm pretty sure you won't even view the actual accusations, so I'm not sure why I bothered fetching the links.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        "Assange is accused of rape"

        No he isn't.

        • by Rei (128717)

          From the information submitted by the Swedish prosecutor, 4. feb 2011:

          B. The aim of the EAW

          5. Julian Assange's surrender is sought in order that he may be subject to criminal proceedings.

          6. A domestic warrant for the respondant's arrest was upheld on 24th November 2010 by the Court of Appeal, Sweden. An arrest warrant was issued on the basis that Julian Assange is accused with probable cause of the offenses outlined on the EAW.

          7. According to Swedish law, a formal decision to indict may not be taken at the

    • by orzetto (545509)

      Pinochet was indicted for crimes against Spanish citizens. Just because you have a certain citizenship does not mean you cannot be prosecuted in other countries. Spain is not the only country that claims universal jurisdiction for some crimes; Italy, for example, prosecutes child molestation by its citizens in any country, and Norway prohibits buying sexual services anywhere in the world.

      Also, "the opinion on the US doing it" is mostly influenced by kidnapping and torture by the CIA and other parts of the U

    • by jelizondo (183861)

      Except that Spanish citizens allegedly had been tortured and/or killed by Pinochet's regime..

      Get some information before commenting on "group think"

  • Dayum it's on now! Da game is ON!

  • Assange has already lost the extradition case and violated his bail conditions, there is nothing this guy can do.

  • How is he going to do that when Julian has fled his bail? Isn't Julian technically in another country right now since he is holed up in the embassy? Honestly, I think Julian has painted himself into a very small corner.

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