[JURIST] Political parties in Spain [government website] are in an uproar after the ruling Socialist Party [official website] Wednesday initiated a process for officially pardoning victims of former fascist Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde [profile]. Franco signed orders for thousands of executions while he ruled Spain between 1938 and 1975, often consigning convicts to death by strangulation with a garrotte. The Socialists have set up a committee of ministers to examine Franco's execution warrants and issue pardons for those where the "minimum standards of a fair trial" were not observed. Right-wing politicians are angered by the refusal of the Socialist party to undertake the same review of individuals executed by the self-proclaimed Republican (anti-Franco rebel) government. Critics from all sides have voiced concern over whether the pardon plan would merely reopen old wounds and violate the unofficial 'pact of silence' currently in place concerning the country's history from the 1930s to the 1970s. Expactica.com has more.