The Spanish judicial authorities have made the first move to suspend the well-known Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón. The main reason is his investigation into the fate of 114,000 people who disappeared without a trace during the Spanish civil war in the thirties of the last century.
The public prosecutor's office says Mr Garzón had no right to conduct the investigation because of an amnesty law introduced in Spain in 1977. But Mr Garzón says the disappearances must be considered crimes against humanity and, therefore, not covered by any amnesty.
Baltasar Garzón gained an international reputation mainly through his efforts to have former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet extradited to Spain. He has also been involved in many controversial cases in Spain, often connected with human rights or the fight against corruption. If Spain's best known judge is eventually found guilty of exceeding his authority, he could be removed from office for 20 years.