The latest development in the case against Baltasar Garzón for his civil war investigation has been the exclusion of the fascist Falange from the case. For once the judge Luciano Varela got something more or less right when he described the Falange's documentation as mainly consisting of personal and political judgements that had no bearing on legal issues. Sadly, that's a verdict that could easily be applied to the entire case against Garzón, including Varela's own interventions. However, Varela did something very odd before dropping the Falange from the case. Instead of doing what judges would normally do in this situation, simply dismiss the case presented, he gave the fascists a day to adjust their documentation and advised them how to do it. Despite this irregular judicial assistance the Falange still wasn't able to do the job. Garzón's defence has promptly appealed against Varela's handling of this issue, claiming that it shows his lack of impartiality. At the same time the state prosecution service has also presented its arguments rejecting the case against Garzón. None of this is likely to prevent Varela from proceeding with his case, the Supreme Court judges seem determined to bring it to trial based solely on the accusations of the remaining plaintiffs. Despite the absence of the Falange, there are still two very right wing groups sitting on the wall.
Yesterday I attended the demonstration in Madrid organised in support of Garzón and justice for the victims of Franco's repression. It was a beautiful afternoon in Madrid and the route between Cibeles and the Puerta del Sol was a mass of republican flags, placards and photos of some of the victims. The march finished with speeches from various public figures including Pedro Almodóvar, Almudena Grandes and Reed Brody from Human Rights Watch. The speeches were followed by a dignified minute of silence in a packed Puerta del Sol. Below are some of the photos I took during the demonstration.