The Spanish government on Friday announced its refusal to grant a request lodged last October by Argentina for the arrests and extraditions of 20 former members of the fascist regime of General Francisco Franco for human rights abuses, including torture. Under Argentine law, the officials, who include two Francoist ministers, can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity even though committed in Spain. Madrid’s rejection of the Argentine request, tabled via Interpol, was a further bitter blow for associations representing the relatives of the victims of Francoist repression who just days earlier had travelled to Brussels to demand that European Union institutions exert pressure on Spain to render justice for the atrocities committed under the 36-year dictatorship. Mediapart Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports.
On Wednesday March 4th, France’s top appeal court ruled that billionaire Kazakh opposition politician and former banker Mukhtar Ablyazov could be extradited over an alleged six-billion-euro fraud. Meanwhile, behind the scenes in this complex affair, a mysterious website has revealed a mass of emails hacked from Kazakhstan leaders. They reveal that Bernard Squarcini, who was the head of France's domestic intelligence agency under President Nicolas Sarkozy, has worked as a consultant on behalf of the Kazakh authorities in relation to the Ablyazov affair. Talking to Mediapart, Squarcini admits the Kazakh government is a client of the firm he works for and that he has worked on the case, but denies claims that he tried to “infiltrate” Ablyazov's team of lawyers and supporters. Agathe Duparc reports on this murky affair.