Spanish court halts government plan to exhume Franco

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MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court is temporarily halting the government’s plan to move the remains of Gen. Francisco Franco to a discreet tomb next week as judges have yet to rule on the appeals of the dictator’s descendants.

Tuesday’s announcement is a setback for Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader who last month won a new term as prime minister.

Sánchez had wanted to exhume the former dictator from a self-aggrandizing mausoleum on June 10 and move the embalmed body to a public cemetery in the outskirts of Madrid.

But he has met opposition from Franco’s relatives and the abbot of the basilica where the dictator was buried in 1975.

Judges say that returning the remains to the mausoleum in the event the appeals are successful could damage public respect for national institutions.

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