Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, was found guilty of illegal wiretapping yesterday, as a result of a domestic corruption investigation. A panel of 7 judges found him guilty of misconduct, he is now liable to pay a fine of €2,500 and has been barred from the bench for 11 years. He has also been on trial in a separate case, for allegedly abusing his position by launching an investigation into human rights abuses during the Franco era.
In 2009, Garzón ordered wiretaps of conversations held between detainees and their lawyers in prisons. Wiretaps are permitted in cases involving suspected terrorists, but Spanish law is more ambiguous on non-terror cases. Garzón claims he ordered the wiretaps because he believed the lawyers were being instructed by the detainees to launder money. The respective prisoners are accused of paying politicians to obtain lucrative government contracts.
Garzón is still awaiting the verdict from his other case.