New Basque party 'linked' to ETA: reports
A new Basque pro-independence party launched by people close to Batasuna, ETA's outlawed political wing, is "linked" to the armed separatist group, according to a Spanish police report cited Thursday in several newspapers.
Police believe Sortu is a replacement for Batasuna, extracts of the 80-page report published in El Pais and El Mundo showed, a view which could lead Spanish courts to rule the party illegal as they did with Batasuna in 2003.
"The Sortu political party is an initiative linked to ETA's ideas," the report said, adding the new party was under the "direct control" of the armed group.
ETA's campaign of bombings and shootings for a Basque homeland independent of Spain has been blamed for 829 deaths in more than four decades.
Sortu was launched on February 7 as a new party that rejects violence and intends to take part in municipal elections in the northern Basque Country in May.
Spain's central government has already voiced doubts over the legality of Sortu, and said it would be up to the courts to make a decision.
ETA on January 10 declared a "permanent and general ceasefire" to be verified by the international community.
© 2011 AFP