Basque terror suspects charged in Paris

8th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 8 (AFP) - Two top suspected members of Spain's armed Basque separatist group ETA were indicted in Paris early Friday, a source close to the case said.

PARIS, Oct 8 (AFP) - Two top suspected members of Spain's armed Basque separatist group ETA were indicted in Paris early Friday, a source close to the case said.  

Mikel "Antza" Albizu Iriarte, ETA's presumed political leader and chief theoretician, was indicted for "leadership and organization of an association of terrorist criminals," which could lead to a 20-year prison sentence.  

His girlfriend and suspected former ETA military leader Soledad "Antobo" Iparragirre Genetxea faces an indictment for "leadership of an association of terrorist criminals," and also faces a 20-year sentence.  

In Madrid, top Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon said he had requested an international arrest warrant for Antxa's extradition, judicial sources said.  

The two were among 17 people netted in a raid by French police last weekend.  

Spanish judicial sources meanwhile said six of an additional eight suspects caught in raids in Spain since the French swoop had been released without charge.  

A seventh person was still being questioned while Pedro Alcantarilla, a lorry driver detained in the northern city of Burgos last Sunday, is being held without possibilty of bail after a judge ruled Thursday he should be kept in custody on suspicion of membership of an armed group and possession of explosives.  

Explosives were found at his house on the French side of the border, judicial sources said, while his wife was one of those picked up by French police.  

Alcantarilla allegedly received EUR 66,000 (USD 80,000) from ETA to build a cache to store weapons under his home.  

Spanish police detained Alcantarilla on October 3 in the northern city of Burgos on suspicion of planting bombs at electric pylons in the Basque country last month.  

Both Spain and France hailed the French raid which turned up "Antza" as an "historic" victory and vowed to work together to bring about ETA's final demise.  

ETA has been campaigning for an independent homeland in parts of northern Spain and southwestern France since its creation in 1959 and has been blamed for the deaths of 817 people since it began armed violence in 1968, according to a toll published on Monday by Spain's El Pais newspaper.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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