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Spain judicial body investigating terrorism judge Garzon

[JURIST] Spain's General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) [official website, in Spanish] on Tuesday said that there will be an investigation into the failure of Judge Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to report his earnings while on sabbatical in the US. Garzon, famed for indicting Osama bin Laden and former Latin American dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archives], took a leave of absence [El Pais report, in Spanish] and accepted a teaching position at New York University between 2005 and 2006 but did not report his earnings. According to CGPJ, any Spanish judge taking a leave of absence must report to the judicial oversight committee any salaries that will be received during that time. While there will be no disciplinary hearing, if he is found to be in violation of the rules, Garzon could be fined, suspended, or possibly expelled.

In addition to the Pinochet and bin Laden indictments, Garzon is well known for his involvement in high-profile investigations of terror and human rights cases. Last October, he ordered [JURIST report] the exhumation of 19 mass graves in Spain, launching an investigation into the disappearances of tens of thousands of people beginning in the Spanish Civil War [BBC backgrounder], and continuing through the early years of the Francisco Franco dictatorship [BBC backgrounder]. Garzon has also called for the creation of a "truth commission" [JURIST report] to uncover Franco-era abuses.

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