Baltasar GarzónBaltasar Garzon
is a judge
, or more correctly an investigating magistratein Spain
’s highest criminal
tribunal, the National Court. Garzon is known in Spain as "Super Judge".
Garzon rose to international prominence in 1998 for his issue of an arrest warrant for former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet over the deaths and torture of Spanish citizens during Pinochet's regime, using the Chilean Truth Commission (1990-91) report as the basis for the warrant.
Garzon has repeatedly expressed a desire to examine former United States Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, over a plot in the 1970s, known as Operation Condor.
Garzon opened the gates to charges of genocide being filed in Spain against Argentine military officers of genocide on the disappearance of Spanish citizens during Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship.
In April 2001, Garzon requested that the Council of Europe remove the immunity from prosecution enjoyed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy as a member of the Council's parliamentary assembly.
In December 2001, Garzon launched an inquiry in into the offshore accounts of Spain's second largest bank BBVA for alleged money laundering offences.
In January 2003, Garzon fiercely criticised the United States government over the detention of al-Qaeda suspects in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
On the domestic front, Garzon has fought against Basque separatists: in October 2002 he suspended all Batasuna operations for three years, alleging it is part of the armed group, ETA.