CONTROVERSIAL JUDGE IN HOT WATER AGAIN

Controversial National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon came under more fire from the press last week when it was revealed that two dangerous Turkish drug traffickers had been released from jail through an oversight on his part. The men walked free in July when their two-year provisional imprisonment ended and the judge failed to extend it. Erden Vardar and Sahin Eren were detained on July 12th, 2006, in Huelva as they tried to smuggle 12 kilos of heroin into the country. Their arrest led to the dismantling of one of the biggest heroin smuggling rings in which another Turk, one Croatian ten Spaniards were detained and 30 kilos of heroin were seized. Judge Garzon had just arrived back from a visit to Colombia where he had opened a seminar, just days before the two-year provisional sentence was due to end, and a few days later left Madrid again. He finally ordered the extension of the men’s provisional imprisonment a few days after it should have been done. As a result, their lawyer was able to get them out of jail. The judge said their release made no difference because they were still in the country and were due to appear in court again later this month.

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