Batasuna court case 'marks major test for peace process'

31st May 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 May 2006, MADRID — The leader of the banned political wing of ETA said the court appearance of members of the organisation marked an important moment in the peace process.

31 May 2006

MADRID — The leader of the banned political wing of ETA said the court appearance of members of the organisation marked an important moment in the peace process.

Arnaldo Otegi, leader of Batasuna, is among eight Batasuna activists who are expected to appear in court to answer charges relating to alleged terrorist offences.

Speaking before the case started, Otegi said the announcement by the Basque Socialist party that it would seek a meeting with Batasuna appeared to contradict legal moves against the outlawed party.

Batasuna was banned in 2003 after being declared illegal by the Spanish supreme court which named it as a terrorist organisation.

The Basque Socialist Party's announcement that it will start talks with Batasuna soon was widely seen as being sanctioned  by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.    

Otegi is to appear in court on Wednesday with other Batasuna activists Jon Gorrotxategi, Karmelo Landa Rufino Etxebarria.

On Thursday, fellow party members Juan Cruz Aldasoro, Pernando Barrena, Joseba Permach and Joseba Alvarez are also set to appear.

The justice minister Juan Fernando López Aguilar said the appearance in court  - and whatever action the court takes - against Batasuna members must be seen in a "historical and social" context, meaning mailing them would be detrimental to the peace process.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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