Batasuna welcomes release of eight members

2nd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 June 2006, MADRID – Batasuna, the illegal political wing of Basque separatist ETA, has welcomed a judge's decision not to imprison eight of its members for "terrorist threats".

2 June 2006

MADRID – Batasuna, the illegal political wing of Basque separatist ETA, has welcomed a judge's decision not to imprison eight of its members for "terrorist threats".

At midnight on Thursday, Judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska announced he would bail Batasuna spokesman Arnaldo Otegi and seven other Batasuna members unconditionally.

Jon Gorrotxategi, Rufino Etxebarria, Karmelo Landa, Joseba Alvarez, Juan Cruz Aldasoro and Pernando Barrena were all bailed.

Only Batasuna leader Joseba Permach was ordered to report daily to a police station in the Basque country.

In releasing the eight Batasuna members, Grande-Marlaska followed the petition of the head of the state's prosecutions which stated that Batasuna no longer worked to fulfil the aims and objectives of ETA, but was working to "recover its institutional presence" and "support the current situation of an end to violence".

In his judgement, Grande-Marlaska said Permach could be accused of the crime of terrorist threats for his statement to Radio Euskadi on 25 May. Then he had said: "If any of the members of the National Table of Batasuna are imprisoned next week, the process will go into deadlock".

Batasuna leader Karmelo Landa said Grande-Marlaska's decision represented "a perspective of profound change in the ways, methods and roads to resolving the problem".

In two previous court appearances in front of Grande-Marlaska, in May and March, Ortegi had had to spend a few days in prison while bail of EUR 400,000 and EUR 250,000 was raised.

On Friday, victims of terrorism organisations and some politicians said they felt the judge had bowed to political pressure.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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