French prosecutors demand prison for ETA

1st November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 31, 2006 (AFP) - A French prosecutor Tuesday asked for prison sentences of up to eight years against two alleged members of the ETA Basque separatist group, being tried in Paris for their presumed ties to terrorism.

PARIS, Oct 31, 2006 (AFP) - A French prosecutor Tuesday asked for prison sentences of up to eight years against two alleged members of the ETA Basque separatist group, being tried in Paris for their presumed ties to terrorism.

Abelardo Castillo Alarcon and Idoia Imaz Garmendia are suspected of being members of ETA's international wing, notably the branch tasked with greeting and maintaining ties with Basque separatists who have taken refuge overseas.

The French prosecutor requested a sentence of between seven and eight years for Castillo Alarcon and six years for Imaz Garmendia. The French government also wants the two to be banned from French territory.

The duo were arrested in the southwest city of Bordeaux in 2003, following a separate police search in the Pyrenees town of Tarbes that turned up evidence of their participation in ETA's international branch, according to the charges.

At the time of their arrest, the men carried two guns and false documents, and possessed a stolen car.

ETA members have traditionally used France to plan and stage attacks in Spain. The armed Basque separatist group is blamed for the killing of some 850 people during its 38-year campaign to establish a separate Basque country in northern Spain and part of southwestern France.

Earlier this year, however, ETA declared a unilateral ceasefire, and the Spanish government agreed to start peace talks with the group.

The French court's verdict against the two alleged members is scheduled for November 8.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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