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José Manuel Maza Martín (23 October 1951 – 18 November 2017) was a Spanish prosecutor, judge, criminologist and writer. He served as the 91st Attorney General of Spain from November 2016 until his death on 18 November 2017.[1]

José Manuel Maza

El Fiscal General del Estado, en Segovia, “Me tengo que morder la lengua” 01.jpg
José Manuel Maza (2017)
91st Attorney General of Spain
In office
25 November 2016 – 18 November 2017
Preceded byConsuelo Madrigal
Succeeded byLuis Navajas (acting)
Personal details
Born(1951-10-23)23 October 1951
Madrid, Spain
Died (aged 66)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alma materComplutense University of Madrid

Legal careerEdit

He studied Law and History in the Complutense University of Madrid. He also got a diploma in Criminology in the same university. He entered the Judicial career in 1975 and in the Prosecutor career in 1978, where he was the first of his promotion. He worked for a few years as a lawyer and as a counsel of the National Railways Network. For a short time, Maza worked as a lawyer, taking on cases for state-owned company Renfe.[2]

During the 1990s, Maza served as the spokesman for the Unión Judicial Independiente (UJI), a conservative association of judges. During this time, Maza became a district judge in Madrid after having worked in the courts of Alcorcón, Valencia and Cangas de Morrazo. He later was appointed chair of the first chamber of the Madrid Provincial Court and, in 2002, he was appointed Magistrate of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court replacing Adolfo Prego, who was appointed member of the CGPJ.

In addition to his daily work as a magistrate, he also authored several books, including the Handbook of Legal and Forensic Psychiatry, Circumstances that exclude or modify Criminal Responsibility and Criminal Penalty Practices, and other publications related to Criminal Law and the relationship between law and medicine.

During his time at the Supreme Court, he worked on many high-profile cases. Maza defended the disqualification of judge Baltasar Garzón,[3][4] and, in 2007, made it possible to file a case against the former president of the Santander Group, Emilio Botín.

The Council of Ministers nominated Maza as Spain's Attorney General in November 2016, a position he held until his death a year later. On 16 May 2017, the Congress of Deputies censured him as Attorney General for suspicious activity in the Prosecution Ministry that aimed to obstruct certain cases against corruption. Justice Minister Rafael Catalá and the anti-corruption prosecutor, Manuel Moix, were also reprobated. The latter resigned to his position on 1 June 2017.[5] This reprobation had no binding effects so he continued with his job.[6]

2017 Spanish constitutional crisisEdit

On September 2017, Maza asked security forces to investigate possible Catalan government preparations to hold an independence voting. He also announced that he would present criminal charges against members of both the regional parliament and government for allowing the referendum. The central government proceeded to deploy a series of legal measures intended to nullify the referendum, while also warning local councils in Catalonia to either impede or paralyse efforts to carry out the vote.[7][8] On 13 September, he summoned 700 Catalan mayors for their role in the independence referendum.[9]

On 30 October 2017, Maza called for charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against Puigdemont, the Bureau of the Parliament, and other Catalan leaders.[10][11] It transpired that the ousted President and five of his ministers had fled to Belgium, and some had been jailed.[12]


On 17 November 2017, he was admitted in the Bazterrica Clinic in Buenos Aires for some pain. He died the next day, as a result of a kidney infection complicated by the diabetes he suffered.[13][14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "El Gobierno confirma a José Manuel Maza como fiscal general del Estado -". 25 November 2016.
  2. ^ "José Manuel Maza ya es fiscal general del Estado". 29 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Por último, como magistrado de la Sala II del Tribunal Supremo, a través de un voto particular defendió con entusiasmo la inhabilitación del juez Baltasar Garzón por abrir una causa que investigara los crímenes del franquismo." from El Plural
  4. ^ "Voto particular - Maza contra absolucion Garzon por prevaricacion judicial" (PDF).
  5. ^ Pérez, Fernando J. (1 June 2017). "Manuel Moix dimite como fiscal jefe Anticorrupción tras conocerse su sociedad en Panamá".
  6. ^ Zafra, Ángel (16 May 2017). "El Congreso de los Diputados reprueba a Catalá, Maza y Moix - Diario16".
  7. ^ "Spain Catalonia: Court blocks independence referendum". BBC News. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Catalonian mayors prepare for separatist vote as Spain ramps up legal action". Efe. Barcelona. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  9. ^ Spain Catalonia: More than 700 mayors summoned to court
  10. ^ Guindal, Carlota (30 October 2017). "La Fiscalía se querella contra Puigdemont y el Govern por rebelión y sedición". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  11. ^ Jones, Sam (30 October 2017). "Spanish prosecutor calls for rebellion charges against Catalan leaders". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Sacked Catalan leader 'in Belgium'". BBC News. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Spain says nation's chief prosecutor has died in Argentina". 18 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Spain's attorney general dies at 66". 18 November 2017 – via