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Spain's public prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, has died suddenly in Argentina, from an infection. His death, at the age of 66, occurred on Saturday afternoon in a Buenos Aires hospital. Maza had been hospitalised after falling seriously ill, and was receiving treatment to his kidneys in an intensive care unit in the Argentinian capital.

Spain's justice minister Rafael Catalá confirmed the news on his twitter account:

Translation: Rest in peace, José Manuel Maza. An extraordinary jurist and public servant. Justice and law have lost one of their most outstanding professionals. — Rafael Catalá Polo 

José Manuel Maza in a photo tweeted from Buenos Aires earlier this week

Maza was in Buenos Aires to take part in the general assembly of the Latin American Association of Public Prosecutor's Offices, but two days ago he began to feel ill and could not leave the hotel where he was staying. After seeking medical help, he was admitted to the Bazterrica Clinic in Buenos Aires, with a prognosis that was made more complicated by the fact that Maza suffered from diabetes. 

The last time that the public prosecutor was in the news was on 30th October when he announced the charges laid against Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, the rest of the Catalan government and the members of the Catalan Parliament's presiding board. Under the charges, the Catalan leaders were accused of crimes of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

Follwing Maza's death, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy sent a message of condolence to the family of the public prosecutor: "The state's Public Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, has passed away. My recognition and gratitude for a life of work in the service of the state. My deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues. Rest in Peace".

The Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, expressed himself in similar terms to Rajoy, offering condolences to Maza's family and friends. 

The speaker of Spain's Congress, Ana Pastor, described José Manuel Maza as a "dedicated public servant" and "a great jurist". 

The president of the Citizens party (Cs), Albert Rivera, said that he was "shaken by this terrible news", and offered all his support to Maza's family, friends and "his colleagues in the Public Prosecutor's Office of the state". 

 

Born in Madrid, on 23rd October 1951, José Manuel Maza graduated in Law from the Madrid's Complutense University in 1973, also achieving a Diploma in Criminology from the same university.

In 1976 he began his judicial career, and in June 1988 became a magistrate, and served in Madrid's Provincial Audience court, and from 2002 in Spain's Supreme Court. Following the general elections of June 2016, he was proposed as the state's public prosecutor and on 25th November 2016, this appointment was confirmed. 

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