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Fernando Grande-Marlaska

Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez (born 26 July 1962) is a Spanish judge. He was appointed Minister of the Interior in June 2018 by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska

Fernando Grande-Marlaska 2018 (cropped).jpg
Minister of the Interior
Assumed office
7 June 2018
Acting: Since 29 April 2019
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byJuan Ignacio Zoido
Member of the General Council of the Judiciary
In office
4 December 2013 – 7 June 2018
PresidentCarlos Lesmes Serrano
Presiding judge of the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional
In office
16 April 2013 – 6 June 2018
Preceded byJavier Gómez Bermúdez
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
21 May 2019
Personal details
Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez

(1962-07-26) 26 July 1962 (age 57)
Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain
Gorka Gómez (m. 2005)
Alma materUniversity of Deusto


Early life and careerEdit

Born in Bilbao, he is the son of Avelino Grande, an officer of the Bilbao Municipal Police [1] He entered the judicial career in 1987 and served in the Court of First Instance and Inquiry in Santoña, Cantabria, from where he was the investigating magistrate in the case against Rafael Escobedo for the Assassination of the Marquesses of Urquijo. In 1990, he moved to Bilbao's Court of Inquiry No. 2, where he remained for nine years. At that time, he promoted the presiding judge of the Sixth Section of the Criminal Division of the Provincial Court of Biscay.

In 2003, he moved to Madrid as titular of the district's of the 36th Court of Inquiry. [2]

In 2004, he was appointed to the Audiencia Nacional as a substitute judge for Judge Baltasar Garzón in the Central Court of Inquiry No. 5, where he made his name at the national level, and was already known as an instructor in Bilbao, and from which he decided to leave for the capital under pressure from the threats of the terrorist group ETA.[citation needed]

Magistrate of the Audiencia NacionalEdit

Until 30 June 2006, he was a member of the Central Examining Court number 5 of the Audiencia Nacional, temporarily replacing its head, Judge Baltasar Garzón. When Garzón returned to his post on 1 July 2006, Grande-Marlaska was assigned to the Criminal Division of the Audiencia Nacional[2]. He ran as an independent candidate for the General Council of the Judiciary (2006), but was not elected.[3][4]

In 2007, he took over from Teresa Palacios the Central Examining Court No. 3 of the Audiencia Nacional.[5]

At that time, he took up the most important case: the Yak-42 accident in Turkey, which killed 62 soldiers on their return from Afghanistan on 26 May 2003. However, four months after arriving at the courthouse, on 1 June 2007, he filed the case and attributed the responsibility to the Ukrainian crew, absolving the Ministry of Defense of the accident for hiring an unsafe plane. However, on 22 January 2008, the Fourth Section of the Criminal Division unanimously revoked the file, alleging that the judge had not exercised any diligence or defencelessness on the part of the victims. Once the case was reopened, he called as witnesses the military leadership of the time, and former ministers Federico Trillo and José Bono. Finally, on 20 May 2008, he charged five high-ranking military commanders, including the Chief of the Defence Staff, Antonio Moreno, the highest military officer at the time of the accident, with 62 counts of serious negligence.

On 30 August 2007, he ordered the opening of an oral trial for insulting the Crown to several graphic artists. In June 2007, it was decided to close the case against four directors of Air Madrid for alleged fraud committed during the crisis that affected the airline in December 2006 and, in September 2007, rejected the appeals filed by the General Association of Consumers and Users and the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) against the car's filing.

On 23 February 2012, he was appointed President of the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional, replacing Javier Gómez Bermúdez.[6]

On 29 November 2013, he was appointed as a member of the General Council of the Judiciary, at the proposal of the People's Party, by the Senate.

Minister of the InteriorEdit

In 2018, the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, appointed Grande-Marlaska as Minister of the Interior.[7]


Inaction on torture and police brutalityEdit

The European Court of Human Rights has issued a total of eight verdicts condemning Spain for failing to investigate alleged torture and police brutality on detainees,[8] five of which happened under the custody of Grande-Marlaska.[9][10]

According to lawyer Amaia Izko, who represented four of the victims "[...] we proved the judge did nothing to investigate or impede the torture and police brutality [occurring] while the detainees were held incommunicado. There are many more such cases. I have represented hundreds of people who denounced being tortured [by the police] while awaiting trial under judge Grande-Marlaska."[11]

According Izko's clients, Grande-Marlaska often ignored the detainees' claims with "an openly mocking attitude". Some of the claims also denounced rape/sexual assault and homophobic attacks. According to ETA militants Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola (whom the ECHR resolved had been subject to torture by the Guardia Civil in a 2018 verdict),[12] they were strip naked and beaten for five days while incommunicado until Portu had to be taken to the hospital in critical condition.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Grande-Marlaska is openly gay and has been a long time activist against gay bullying. He is married since 2005 to his longtime partner, Gorka Gómez.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Juez Grande Marlaska: "¿Un 'lobby' gay? Desde luego no en justicia"". XLSemanal (in Spanish). 7 September 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Fernando Grande Marlaska: el juez vasco que procesó a Otegi dirigirá la sala de lo penal". 20 Minutos. 23 February 2012.
  3. ^ Mundinteractivos. "Grande-Marlaska se presentará como independiente a vocal del CGPJ |". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Grande-Marlaska asegura que mantiene su «ilusión» por formar parte del Consejo del Poder Judicial. La Verdad". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  5. ^ Jurídicas, Noticias. "El CGPJ nombra a Grande-Marlaska titular del Juzgado Central de Instrucción número 3 · Noticias Jurídicas". Noticias Jurídicas (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Marlaska sustituye a Bermúdez en la Audiencia" (in Spanish). 23 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  7. ^ Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez Grande-Marlaska, el juez que plantó cara a ETA, nuevo ministro de Interior in (in Spanish)
  8. ^ "Ocho condenas del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos evidencian que la investigación de torturas es una asignatura pendiente de España". Amnistía Internacional (in Spanish). 25 June 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  9. ^ Guenga, Aitor (31 May 2016). "El Tribunal de Estrasburgo condena de nuevo a España por no investigar torturas". El Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  10. ^ Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael (19 June 2018). "Not everyone is in awe of Spain's new progressive government". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  11. ^ Torrús, Alejandro (14 February 2018). ""Hay una política de impunidad de la tortura en el Estado"". Público (in Spanish). Display Connectors, SL. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Court: Two Basque ETA terrorists suffered inhuman and degrading treatment after their arrest". Human Rights Europe. Council of Europe. 13 February 2018. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  13. ^ "#Aztnugal A history of Torture in the Basque Country". Basque Peace Process. 9 May 2016. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  14. ^ Fonseca, Óscar López (7 June 2018). "El juez conservador que destapó el chivatazo a ETA" (in Spanish). El País. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  15. ^ "El juez Grande-Marlaska habla en El País del matrimonio gay y de su marido" (in Spanish). 11 June 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Juan Ignacio Zoido
Minister of the Interior