Judge Baltazar Garzón Indicted

Spanish judge Baltazar Garzón rose to fame in 1998 when he issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for the alleged murder and torture of Spanish citizens in Chile.  Such use of universal jurisdiction was unprecedented — and it was only the beginning.  Since then, Judge Garzón has investigated Bush Administration officials for alleged crimes against humanity and indicted Osama Bin Laden.  Yet as the AP reports, Judge Garzón has been indicted himself for ignoring a 1977 amnesty law and exceeding his jurisdiction in his investigation of the alleged atrocities committed by Gen. Francisco Franco and his allies during the Spanish Civil War and under the Franco regime.  The NYT thinks this an outrage, while the WSJ thinks it is poetic justice. Overlawyered’s Walter Olson also comments here.

UPDATE: At Opinio Juris, Julian Ku says this is a “big deal.”  More here.