Spain's high court convicted judge Baltasar Garzon on Thursday in an illegal wiretapping case, ending the judicial career of a man who won world renown for pursuing human rights abuses.
“We condemn the accused, Baltasar Garzon, as the author of the crime of abusing his authority... to 11 years' suspension from his duty as judge or magistrate,” the court's ruling read.
Mr. Garzon (56), who gained international attention by trying to extradite Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, was found guilty of ordering illegal recordings of suspects in a corruption case talking to their lawyers. The suspension effectively ends Mr. Garzon's career. He is also awaiting judgment in a second trial for investigating atrocities of the Franco era, in alleged breach of an amnesty. Mr. Garzon's defenders say both trials are politically motivated bids to stop him prosecuting crimes committed during Spain's 1936-1939 Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.