Swiss lawmakers say support suspended Spanish judge Garzon

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Sixty Swiss parliamentarians on Thursday lent their support to Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, who has been suspended over an alleged abuse of power linked to a probe of Franco-era crimes.

In a statement published Thursday, the mostly left-wing lawmakers from the two chambers of Swiss parliament expressed "total support to the judicial work undertaken by Spanish judge Garzon concerning crimes against humanity."

Garzon was suspended in May from the bench at the National Court for abuse of power after he opened a probe into the disappearance of tens of thousands of people during Spain's 1936-39 civil war and General Francisco Franco's subsequent right-wing dictatorship.

The 54-year-old judge faces trial for power abuse, and if convicted could be suspended for up to 20 years, effectively ending his domestic career.

In their statement, the Swiss parliamentarians said they shared "the point of view of the UN human rights committee which asked Spain at the end of October to abolish the amnesty law of 1977 invoked to block Garzon from investigating."

Signatories of the statement also said that they "pay homage to victims of the Franco dictatorship, who since October 16, 2008, can expect to find out the truth about their families who were victims of the repression."

© 2010 AFP

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