Star judge gets more traditional accolade

11th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 May 2007 , NEW YORK - Spain's star judge Baltasar Garzon has had a Broadway play written about him but now was honoured in a more traditional way - with an honourary doctorate.

11 May 2007

NEW YORK - Spain's star judge Baltasar Garzon has had a Broadway play written about him but now was honoured in a more traditional way - with an honourary doctorate.

He was was awarded the doctorate by New York University in recognition of his "fortitude, wisdom and energy in fighting crime and corruption."

Garzon received the NYU law school's highest distinction at a ceremony in Washington State Park before some 19,000 graduates, faculty, staff and guests.

NYU president John Sexton bestowed the honorary doctorate on the Spanish judge,  saying that "with consummate skill and magnificent result, you have applied the principle of universal justice in cases where Spain has jurisdiction".

"It has taken courage, grit and fierce determination to pursue, as you have, multiple and complex investigations of terrorism that include drug trafficking and money laundering, the seizure of the Achile Lauro, the crimes of Al Qaeda and mass human rights violations of forced disappearance, torture and genocide," said the director of NYU's King Juan Carlos I Center, James Fernandez, who introduced Garzon.

Garzon has had links with NYU since 2006, when he partnered with the university to present a series of conferences on international politics and human rights at the institution's King Juan Carlos I Center.

"Among the several prestigious appointments you have held in the academy, NYU proudly claims you as senior fellow in the Center on Law and Security of our School of Law and holder of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Chair of Spanish Culture and Civilization at our center named after another recipient of an NYU honorary degree, the King of Spain," read the university citation honoring Garzon.

"Baltasar Garzon Real - esteemed for your fortitude, wisdom, and energy in fighting crime and corruption - you have earned the profound and enduring gratitude of your fellow citizens of the world," the acknowledgement concluded.

"The work that I did here was intense, extensive and interesting. It's about doing something you know how to do at the time and place where you find yourself, and that's what I did," Garzon told Efe regarding his close collaboration with NYU and New York City, an effort which he added had "soaked" into him.

Garzon became famous in 1998 for using the principle of universal jurisdiction to indict Chile's former strongman Augusto Pinochet, though the erstwhile dictator - who died last December - was never extradited to Spain.

The Spanish judge wanted to put the late former dictator in the dock for his responsibility in the torture, murder and disappearance of thousands in Chile, but British authorities - who took him into custody when Pinochet made a trip to London - eventually determined the elderly retired general was not fit for trial and released him.

Recently, he inspired a Broadway play about his role as a human rights activist, based on a Spanish classic.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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