Spain clears way for super-judge's trial

Trial Coverage

Spain's Supreme Court has removed the last potential obstacle to putting on trial the crusading judge who indicted Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden.

Judge Baltasar Garzon, who became world famous with cross-border justice cases, faces charges of knowingly overstepping his jurisdiction by launching a probe of Spanish Civil War atrocities that were covered by an amnesty. He could be suspended from his post on Friday.

The Supreme Court judge who indicted him last month, Luciano Varela, issued a ruling Wednesday that rejected an appeal by prosecutors on procedural grounds.

The prosecutors actually oppose trying Garzon. His indictment stems from a complaint that were filed by two civil groups and accepted by Varela.

An official with a judicial oversight board, the General Council of the Judiciary, said Garzon's trial might start in two to three months, or perhaps as late as September.

On Tuesday, Garzon asked for a leave of absence to accept a job offer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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