Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon appealed Wednesday against being banned from the judiciary for ordering wiretaps in a political corruption case, his lawyers said.
Garzon, 56, known internationally for trying to extradite Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet, was banned from practising as a judge for 11 years at a trial that his supporters said was a political stitch-up.
His lawyers said in a statement that Garzon handed a 12-page appeal to the Constitutional Tribunal, Spain's highest court, challenging the ruling made in February by the Supreme Court in the so-called Gurtel case.
"The Supreme Court's sentence is arbitrary, unreasonable and manifestly unjust," they wrote.
"It is gravely unconstitutional in ways previously unseen in our democratic state," they added, saying that the Constitutional Court can overturn Garzon's sentence if it accepts his appeal.
"The Gurtel case manifestly and most gravely infringes the fundamental rights that he, like any citizen, has under the constitution, and endangers the judicial independence that the constitution guarantees."
Garzon was convicted of ordering illegal recordings of corruption suspects talking to their lawyers in the Gurtel affair, a case implicating top members of the conservative Popular Party, which is now in government.
The conviction halted the rise of a judge who has taken on dictators, Basque militants and even Al-Qaeda, but who stumbled when he tangled with a corruption probe targeting senior Spanish politicians.
In a second trial in February, Garzon was acquitted of charges that he exceeded his authority by investigating mass killings committed during Spain's Civil War in the late 1930s and the ensuing dictatorship.© ANP/AFP