Garzon seeks new post in The Hague

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the high-profile judge who indicted Augusto Pinochet and Osama bin Laden is seeking a leave of absence as he awaits trial on charges of abuse of authority, a court official has said.

Judge Baltasar Garzon has asked for a seven-month assignment as an adviser at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. His departure will not affect the case against him in Spain for having launched an inquiry into Spanish Civil War atrocities. Judge Garzon received the job offer from Luis Moreno Ocampo, the chief prosecutor at the international court. A Spanish judicial panel is expected to discuss today whether to grant the leave. Judge Garzon was indicted on charges of knowingly overstepping the bounds of his jurisdiction by launching an inquiry into the disappearance of more than 100,000 civilians at the hands of supporters of General Francisco Franco. If convicted he faces removal from the National Court for up to 20 years.