- - Sunday, February 12, 2012


Thousands rally to support disbarred Spanish judge

MADRID — Thousands of people took to the Spanish capital’s streets in support of a judge who won global fame for taking on international human rights cases but now has been barred from the bench for ordering jailhouse wiretaps.

Baltasar Garzon, 56, was convicted Thursday by the Supreme Court of ordering the wiretaps, marking a spectacular fall from grace for the nation’s most prominent jurist.

The case was just one of three against the judge, who is still awaiting verdict in another trial on charges of initiating a probe in 2008 of right-wing atrocities committed during and after the Spanish civil war of from 1936 to 1939, even though the crimes were covered by a 1977 amnesty.

About 10,000 people attended the march in Madrid on Sunday, many carrying banners calling for justice for the judge.


Official: Press must face tougher penalties

LONDON — The British Cabinet minister responsible for the media says the press must face tougher penalties for breaches of standards in the wake of the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on Sunday newspapers must change their system of self-regulation but insisted the government should not have any role.

He said the written media need a tougher system of industry-led regulation, with the capacity to hand out “credible punishment” for transgressions.

The Press Complaints Commission - the current watchdog - can demand a newspaper to publish an apology but has no power to issue fines. Broadcasters have a separate regulatory system.

Britain’s media ethics inquiry led by Judge Brian Leveson is expected to recommend major changes to press regulation.


Government ignored air force over jets

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