Supreme Court reverses suspension of Basque party
The Supreme Court has rejected Friday's suspension of a radical Basque party with suspected links to terrorism.11 February 2008
MADRID - The Supreme Court has rejected Friday's suspension of a radical Basque party with suspected links to terrorism, on the grounds that the measure is "out of proportion."
The move strikes down a decision by High Court judge Baltasar Garzón, who had suspended all the activities of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) - as well as its allied Communist Party of the Basque Lands (PCTV-EHAK) - for three years because of its ties to the Basque terrorist group ETA and its outlawed political wing Batasuna.
The Supreme Court said that the ongoing illegalisation process affecting ANV should be allowed to take its course - a matter of months - and that it would be excessive to dissolve the party ahead of time.
However, magistrates said that their decision is "compatible" with Garzón's, in that ANV will still be barred from running in the 9 March general elections and will not be eligible for public subsidies. The Supreme Court stated the need to avoid a situation in which the party won parliamentary seats, thus gaining immunity from any future ruling limiting its activities.
For now, ANV will be able to keep its premises open and organise public activities, which Garzón had prohibited as well. The Supreme Court's decision regarding the other party, PCTV-EHAK, will be made public today.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / JULIO M LÁZARO 2008]
Subject: Spanish news