Ex-minister faces jail for 'dirty war' fraud

12th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

12 November 2004, MADRID- A former Spanish government minister will finally hear how long he will spend in jail for his part in illegal operations against the Basque separatist movement, ETA.

12 November 2004

MADRID- A former Spanish government minister will finally hear  how long he will spend in jail for his part in illegal operations against the Basque separatist movement, ETA.

Rafael Vera, a one-time deputy Interior minister in the former Socialist government of Felipe Gonzalez, was convicted in 1998 of involvement in the kidnapping of a Basque businessman.

Vera and former Interior minister Jose Barrionuevo were jailed for ten years.

But after an appeal Vera was cleared of the charge.

Instead, he faced a new charge of embezzlement of public funds in connection with the same affair.

Last month, the Supreme Court condemned Vera to six years for this offenc.

This sentence will be confirmed by a criminal court in Madrid on 22 November.

It is the end of a 21-year saga surrounding Spain's so-called 'dirty war'.

The covert anti-separatist organisation known as Gal is said to have assassinated 28 people they suspected of being ETA members between 1983 and 1987.

It was later discovered that at least a third of them had no connection to the armed group.

Gal's alleged high-ranking connections came to light after statements made by members of the Spanish security services and a determined investigation by journalists.

It was discovered that leading members of the then-Socialist government knew about, funded and, it is alleged, organised what amounted to state terrorism.

Vera and Barrionuevo, the highest-ranking officials on trial for Gal connections, have always denied the charges.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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