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Pop group Garzon learns not to mess with the law

Written by: Staff

MADRID, July 23 (Reuters) Naming a pop group after a judge was always going to have potential legal pitfalls.

Spanish pop group Garzon, named after the crusading judge who tried to bring former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to justice, has had to change its name after Baltasar Garzon himself threatened legal action, the group said on its Web site.

So the musicians, on the bill at Spain's Benicassim rock festival this weekend, have renamed themselves Grande-Marlaska after the judge who substituted for Garzon at the High Court while he was away on sabbatical.

The group said they received a fax requesting them to desist ''actions which interfere with (Judge Garzon's) image'', to change the name of their Web site, which means superjudge, and to remove all photographs of the judge, threatening legal action if they did not.

They have complied, except to keep the name of the website.

The group commented ironically that their old name was partly meant as a tribute to Garzon's ''fairness, progressiveness and modesty.'' The judge is often portrayed as being ambitious and image conscious in Spanish media.

''This supreme judge who provides and removes arguments, has passed sentence on us. What goes up, must come down. We must look to the future. For that reason, from now on ... the group Garzon will be known as Grande-Marlaska.'' For his part, Judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska told El Pais newspaper that he was amused by the incident and had no plans to take legal action.

Garzon's lawyers could not be contacted.

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