Government begins legal process to ban Basque radical parties

24th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

"The time has come," Justice Minister Mariano Fernández Bermejo declared Wednesday, confirming that the government will press charges against two radical Basque parties.

24 January 2008

MADRID - "The time has come," Justice Minister Mariano Fernández Bermejo declared Wednesday, confirming that the government will press charges against two radical Basque parties in an effort to prevent them from participating in the general election on 9 March.

The move follows High Court investigating Judge Baltasar Garzón's decision on Tuesday to turn the results of a police inquiry over to prosecutors after investigators determined that there is sufficient evidence to link Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (PCTV-EHAK) to the Basque terrorist group ETA's outlawed political wing Batasuna.

"I said that as soon as we had sufficient evidence to connect these parties with Batasuna we would not hesitate to act. That time has come," Bermejo said.

He said that the government is confident the High Court will suspend the parties before the election because of the "solid evidence" against them. Police found that ANV and PCTV-EHAK share financial, political and organisational resources with Batasuna, which was outlawed by the Supreme Court in 2003.

Both parties have denied the allegations and ANV leaders yesterday urged supporters to take to the streets.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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