Judge María Tardón is left without a support judge. The Ministry of Justice has rejected the request of the head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 3 of the National High Court to have a reinforcement judge without jurisdictional functions. Last May, Tardón requested a support judge from the General Council of the Judiciary due to the high workload of her court.

According to legal sources, the Government Chamber of the National High Court reported in favor of its authorization but the Inspection Service of the judges’ governing body did so unfavorably. Later, on June 6, the Ministry led by Pilar Llop denied the measure.

Tardón is the judge instructing the procedure against the Galician drug trafficker José Ramón Prado Bugallo, known as Sito Miñanco or the case opened by the oil company’s operations in PDVSA.

At present, only the head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 6 of the High Court, Manuel García Castellón, has a backup judge, Joaquín Gadea, and another support judge, Daniel González Uriel, whose service commission has recently been extended by the CGPJ.

The decision not to provide a support judge to the magistrate of the National High Court María Tardón coincides in time with the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to extend different service commissions for reinforcement judges in different parts of Spain.

As reported by EL MUNDO, the denial of these extensions for “budget availability reasons” has generated deep discomfort within the governing body of the judges that demanded an urgent meeting with the senior representatives of the Ministry.

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