Judge hits ANV party leader with terrorist charge
High Court Judge Baltasar Garzón on Tuesday charged Kepa Bereziartua, the leader of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV), with membership of a terrorist organisation.6 February 2008
MADRID - High Court Judge Baltasar Garzón on Tuesday charged Kepa Bereziartua, the leader of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV), with membership of a terrorist organisation, moving the radical Basque party a step closer to being suspended over its alleged links to the ETA terrorist group.
Garzón charged Bereziartua during a hearing at the High Court yesterday in which he also accused ANV members Alazne Arozena and Antxon Gómez Lorente of the same crime. Under the 2002 Political Parties Law, at least one member of a political party must be charged with a terrorism-related crime before the party can be suspended.
In the case of Bereziartua, he stands accused of overseeing a political organisation that "provided funds" to ETA's outlawed political wing Batasuna, and by implication helped "finance the terrorist activities of ETA-Batasuna."
Garzón's decision to charge the three ANV members suggests he will press for the suspension of the party and of a sister organisation, the Communist Party of the Basque Lands, when a panel of 16 Supreme Court justices meets later this week. ANV is planning to be present in the 9 March general election.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / JOSÉ YOLDI / Ángeles Espinosa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news