Spanish judge refuses to order opening of poet's grave

31st May 2009, Comments 0 comments

A judge in southern Spain on Friday said he is not competent to order the opening the grave of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was shot by Franco supporters at the outbreak of the 1936-1939 civil war.

MADRID - A judge in southern Spain on Friday said he is not competent to order the opening the grave of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was shot by Franco supporters at the outbreak of the 1936-1939 civil war.

The Andalucia high court said the judge had refused to take the case, which had been passed to him last November by the country's most prominent judge, Baltasar Garzon.

Garzon had announced in October he would probe the disappearances of 114,266 people during the civil war and the ensuing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, which lasted until his death in 1975, with a view to filing charges for crimes against humanity.

He later bowed to a demand by public prosecutors and announced he was dropping the investigation.

But he also handed to regional courts the responsibility for the excavation of mass graves thought to contain the bodies of thousands of people who disappeared during the period, including Garcia Lorca.

Garcia Lorca's family has opposed the opening of the grave, which is also believed to contain the remains of two anarchist bullfighters and a school teacher who were shot dead by partisans in 1936 near the southern city of Granada.

But the family of one of the other men who is thought to be buried in the grave has asked that it be opened.

Garcia Lorca, Spain's most widely acclaimed 20th century poet, was 38 when he was killed. Openly homosexual, his work deals with universal themes such as love, death, passion, cruelty and injustice.

AFP / Expatica

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