France hands over wanted ETA expert to Spain

7th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

France on Friday handed over to Spain a member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA who is an expert in electronics and who is wanted by Madrid on terrorism charges, the interior ministry said.

MADRID - Ignacio Pedro Santesteban Goikoetxea, also known as Einstein, was arrested in 2000 in the southwest of France, which is used by the outfit as a rear base to stage attacks in Spain.

He was sentenced by a French court to nine years in jail and is wanted in Spain for "terrorism and the trafficking of arms, explosives and vehicles," the interior ministry said.

At the time of his arrest he was considered to be the main person responsible for electronics for ETA and an expert in making explosive devices for the outfit, it added.

ETA, which is on the European Union's list of banned terrorist groups, has been blamed for the deaths of 825 people in a 40-year campaign for an independent Basque homeland straddling northern Spain and southwestern France.

AFP / Expatica

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