Longest serving ETA prisoner must stay in jail
7 July 2005, MADRID — A judge ruled a controversial ETA killer who was to have left jail after serving 18 years behind bars will remain in prison.
7 July 2005
MADRID — A judge ruled a controversial ETA killer who was to have left jail after serving 18 years behind bars will remain in prison.
Ignacio de Juana Chaos, who was condemned to almost 3,000 years in what was the longest sentence ever handed out in Spain, was to have been released next month.
The planned release provoked an outcry from relatives of his victims who said he had not even served a year for each of the 25 murders for which he was convicted.
But a judge sitting at Spain's Audiencia Nacional, the country's top anti-terrorism court, ruled he could not be released because he was still an alleged member of ETA and had been involved in making terrorist threats.
The case revolves around two letters De Juana Chaos wrote last year to Gara, a Basque daily which is close to ETA, which the judge ruled promoted terrorism. He was placed in preventative custody.
De Juana Chaos, a former member of ETA's 'Madrid commando', agreed in court that the letters were not "adequate" but said he was trying to explain the Basque separatist group's thinking.
Among De Juana Chaos's victims were 12 Guardia Civil officers who were killed in a single bomb attack in 1986 in Madrid.
De Juana Chaos was jailed for a total of 2,995 years in 1987 for his part in 11 attacks and 25 murders.
His sentence was reduced by 20 days for each year after he enrolled in an educational course.
A law in Spain states no-one can serve more than 30 years and with a 12-year remission for going on the course, he will be entitled to be released next month.
In 1998, after the murder of a council official in Seville by ETA, he wrote from jail: "I love to see the twisted faces of the relatives at the funerals. Here in prison, their tears are our smiles."
The car bomb attack in 1986 killed 12 police officers in the plaza de la Republica Dominicana de Madrid.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news