ETA killer gets 82 years for second murder

26th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2006, MADRID – The man convicted for one of ETA’s most notorious murders has been sentenced to 82 years for another killing.

26 July 2006

MADRID – The man convicted for one of ETA’s most notorious murders has been sentenced to 82 years for another killing.

Last month, Francisco Javier García Gaztelu, called 'Txapote', was convicted along with Irantxu Gallastegi, called 'Amaia', for the kidnap and murder of conservative councillor Miguel Angel Blanco in 1997.

On Wednesday, Txapote was given 82 years – 10 years more than the prosecution requested – for murdering socialist leader Fernando Mugica in 1996. He was also convicted of robbery and forgery.

During his trial on Friday, Txapote insulted the tribunal judge Alfonso Guevara, calling him a circus chump.

He refused to stand so that a witness could identify him and at one point kicked the wall of the glass room cabinet which contained him.

Txapote is due back in court soon to be tried along with two other suspects for the bombing of a nightclub in September 2000.

The Blanco murder for which Txapote was convicted last month proved a turning point in the way ETA was perceived by Spaniards.

Blanco was kidnapped and later shot after the then government refused to give in to a 47-hour deadline from ETA to move their prisoners closer to the Basque Country.

The killing provoked spontaneous demonstrations against ETA, with six million Spaniards protesting on the streets.

It was the first public show of revulsion against ETA and shocked the terrorist group's leadership.

Minutes after the deadline expired, Blanco was found with gunshots to the head after a botched execution. He died later.

ETA support in its own heartlands in the Basque Country declined after the murder, which also united all political parties in a common front against terrorism.

The Blanco and Mugica trials come at a highly-charged moment as the Spanish government attempts a peace process which will include talks with ETA.

ETA declared its first ever permanent ceasefire in March, amid hopes this could be the end of a 38-year-old armed campaign which has cost the lives of 817 people.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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