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John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Distinguished Spanish judge to discuss need for international criminal court, participate in colloquium

Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge magistrate who made international headlines in late 1998 when he began efforts to extradite former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet from Britain, is scheduled to give a lecture and participate in a colloquium Thursday, Feb. 22, in Room 290 of the Law School.

Garzón will present "Toward a Democracy for the 21st Century: The Legal and Political Need for the International Criminal Court of Justice," from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A conversation with Garzón is scheduled from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The events are presented by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as part of "Talking Heads 2001" cultural activities. Both are free and open to the public.

Garzón began working as a judge in 1980, when he was only 24 years old. He has prosecuted cases that range from government corruption to terrorism, and he has pursued crime committed outside the country.

In the mid-1990s, he began investigating the unsolved murders and disappearances of Spanish citizens that occurred during Argentina's Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. Garzón demanded the arrests of Argentina's former military dictators. He had one former officer, Adolfo Scilingo, arrested while visiting Spain.

In 1998, Garzón succeeded in having British authorities arrest Pinochet, who had traveled to England for medical treatment. Pinochet remained under house arrest for 16 months but ultimately was allowed to return to Chile. About 3,000 people were killed or disappeared under Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990.

Garzón attended law school at the University of Seville after studying for several years at a seminary. He earned his law degree in 1978.


By John Sanford

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