Spain's Supreme Court suspends dictator Franco exhumation

Magistrates put process on hold until after appeal by fascist ex-ruler's relatives

Franco supporters still make pilgrimages to his tomb
Franco supporters still make pilgrimages to his tomb / Daniel Wittenberg

Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

June 4, 2019 12:49 PM

Spain's Supreme Court has ruled that the exhumation of General Francisco Franco, which had been planned for next week, be suspended pending an appeal by the dictator's family.

The remains of the former Spanish ruler were due to be transferred from the Valley of the Fallen Francoist mausoleum to El Pardo cemetery, near where he lived in Madrid, on June 10.

Franco's family have insisted that he should be buried at Almudena Cathedral, a more central location in the capital and close to his daughter Carmen Franco Polo's resting place.


However, the Spanish government refused, citing "obvious risks to security and public order" and added that it would be unlawful because it would allow him to be "honored" in public.

After the family refused to put forward an alternative site, the government announced in March that it had chosen El Pardo, which has a Franco family mausoleum containing his wife.

The unanimous decision by five of Spain's most senior judges was made on the basis that their appeal was yet to be heard and reversing the exhumation process would be "damaging."