Spain's top cooks 'paid thousands to ETA'

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2004, MADRID - Four of Spain's top cooks have paid thousands of euros to ETA, a member of the Basque terrorist group told a court Thursday.

14 October 2004

MADRID - Four of Spain's top cooks have paid thousands of euros to ETA, a member of the Basque terrorist group told a court Thursday.

ETA suspect José Luis Beotegui told a court that Carlos Arguiñano, Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana and Juan María Arzak have paid a "revolutionary tax" to the Basque separatist organisation.

Beotegui, who was arrested last week in a series of operations against ETA, claimed the four cooks have paid EUR 72,000 in all.

The four cooks are among the most prestigious in Spain and run exclusive restaurants in the Basque Country.

Beotegui claimed that Arzak, whose wife is related to him, tried to reduce the payments.

The ETA suspect claimed they reached a deal in which they would pay half the cash then yearly payments.

The judge who heard testimony from Beotegui, said the four cooks may be questioned about the allegations and could face charges of collaboration with the armed group and collecting funds for ETA.

But it is thought the cash was allegedly paid as extortion money and not voluntarily.

Beotegui, who is alleged to have helped ETA members living in France to hide and to collect funds for ETA, was remanded in custody.

The latest allegations come after 19 members of ETA, including its political leader and his partner, were arrested last week in a series of raids.

It was the most important operation against ETA for 12 years as it removed the group's de facto leader.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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