Judge jails duo linked to ETA political wing on terrorist charges

8th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

High Court Judge Baltasar Garzón on Thursday remanded in custody Batasuna leaders Pernando Barrena and Patxi Urrutia for membership of a terrorist organisation.

8 February 2008

MADRID - High Court Judge Baltasar Garzón on Thursday remanded in custody Batasuna leaders Pernando Barrena and Patxi Urrutia for membership of a terrorist organisation, citing dozens of incidents in recent months in which they violated a Supreme Court ban on the radical Basque Party's political activities.

Barrena and Urrutia, who were arrested on Monday and will now be held until trial, were the last senior members of Batasuna still at liberty after Garzón told police to round up most of Batasuna's leadership in a raid in early October. Since then, Garzón counted 31 occasions in which Barrena and Urrutia had appeared in public events representing Batasuna in violation of the Supreme Court's outlawing of the party in 2003 for its links to Basque terrorist group ETA.

"They have clearly refused to comply [with court orders]," Garzón said.

The decision to hold both Batasuna members comes as a panel of Supreme Court judges prepares to deliberate on whether to ban two alleged successor organisations to Batasuna, the Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) party and the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (PCTV-EHAK). Garzón alleges that both have helped fund Batasuna and, in consequence, have contributed to ETA's terrorist campaign.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / Angeles Espinosa 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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