Defendents refuse to recognise court in ETA trial
22 November 2005, MADRID — Defendants in the biggest trial of alleged ETA members are refusing to answer questions in court.
22 November 2005
MADRID — Defendants in the biggest trial of alleged ETA members are refusing to answer questions in court.
José Luis García Mijangos, alias 'Joxe', who faces 12 years in jail, denied any involvement with the terrorist group, but refused to answer any more questions.
When the trial of 56 people opened on Monday, another defendent, Inmaculada Berriozábal, made a similar response to questions.
All defendents are claiming that their civil rights have been breached by being accused of links to the Basque terror organisation.
It is the largest ever trial of alleged ETA terrorists and is being held in Madrid amid tight security.
All 56 people face charges of belonging to the group or collaborating with it and more than 300 witnesses are expected to be called.
Those on trial include members of Basque organisations banned by the anti-terrorist judge, Baltasar Garzon.
ETA, which wants an independent Basque nation, has been blamed for more than 800 killings since it started its armed campaign in 1968.
Basque nationalists say the trial can only hinder prospects for a political settlement.
The current Spanish Socialist government has offered to hold talks with ETA if it renounces violence.
Rumours abound in Spain that ETA is looking for a truce after a series of setbacks causing by arrests of top members.
The militants' planned Basque homeland encompasses areas of northern Spain and south-western France.
Over the past two years, it has carried out several small attacks without causing any deaths.
In the latest, two bombs exploded on Sunday at a car dealership in the northern city of Vitoria, where earlier on the weekend another blast had damaged a business in an industrial area.
The bombs that shook the dealership of the French automaker Renault destroyed one vehicle, which burst into flames, and damaged the site's windows. There were no reports of injuries.
On Saturday, a bomb exploded at a bicycle firm in an industrial zone in Vitoria, an incident that the regional government attributed to the terrorist group ETA.
The blast, for which no prior warning was given, caused minor material damage to the door and facade of the business, a manufacturer of a well-known brand of bicycles.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news