French court frees ETA prisoners supporter
2 February 2005, PARIS - A French court has rejected a European arrest warrant issued by Spain in connection to a member of a group which campaigns for the rights of ETA prisoners.
2 February 2005
PARIS - A French court has rejected a European arrest warrant issued by Spain in connection to a member of a group which campaigns for the rights of ETA prisoners.
Jean-Francois Lefort, spokesman for Askatasuna, was freed by the court in Paris.
But the court refused to disclose its reasons for the ruling.
Lefort and his girlfriend Maiallen Carrer were arrested in Bayonne in south-west France in December.
Police raided the home which Lefort and Carrer share after Spain issued a European arrest warrant.
The arrests were not related to the prosecution of Lefort in 2003 and other members of his group.
The year before, Spain's anti-terrorist judge, Baltasar Garzon, declared Askatasuna illegal because of its close links to ETA, which is also a banned organisation.
Instead, the arrests were in connection with an on-going operation, which started in December in which three suspected members of ETA were detained in the same part of France.
The arrests were linked to the arrests in October of ETA's political leader Mikel 'Antza' and his partner, Soledad Iparragirre, 'Anboto', in October.
The arrests of these two leaders dealt ETA its most serious blow for 12 years, when the then leadership was detained.
Two of those who were arrested were released without charge.
But a third person, Robert Arricau, a suspected link to 'Antza' and 'Anboto', remains in custody. His brother Didier Arricau is thought to have sheltered the two ETA leaders.
Iparragirre, 43, alias 'Anboto' started a hunger strike to protest at the conditions in jail and had to be hospitalised on Monday night.
Antza has also started a hunger strike in solidarity with his partner.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news