Clashes mark start of Basque leader’s trial
26 March 2007, BILBAO – Angry clashes marked the start of the trial of the Basque regional prime minister and separatist politicians on Monday.
26 March 2007
BILBAO – Angry clashes marked the start of the trial of the Basque regional prime minister and separatist politicians on Monday.
Supporters of the banned political wing of ETA, Batasuna, refused to answer to the supreme court in Bilbao.
Arnaldo Otegi and Rufi Etxeberria would not answer questions about their meeting with Juan Jose Ibarretxe, the Basque prime minister last year.
Ibarretxe is on trial for holding a meeting with a proscribed organisation.
Otegi and Etxeberria instead read a statement in which they said they met the Basque leader to “resolve the conflict” based on their “civil and political” rights.
But before the hearing got underway, there were violent scuffles between Batasuna supporters and members of the Forum of Ermua, which opposes any deal with the separatists.
Ibarretxe said before the hearing he would not “stop talking with the separatists” because he believed it was a way to advance the cause of peace.
Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the courtroom to cheer on the Basque leader.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news