Trial opens against suspected ETA arms suppliers

17th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 17, 2006 (AFP) - A trial against a French and Spanish people suspected of supplying guns and explosives to the armed Basque separatist group ETA began in Paris Friday amid scenes of defiance from the defendants.

PARIS, Nov 17, 2006 (AFP) - A trial against a French and Spanish people suspected of supplying guns and explosives to the armed Basque separatist group ETA began in Paris Friday amid scenes of defiance from the defendants.

Fourteen people, among them an alleged senior ETA leader, Asier Oyarzabal Chapartegui, 35, were being judged by a special panel of magistrates hearing the case over the next two weeks.

Two of the suspects remain at large, but most of the others were in court Friday.

They caused a brief adjournment when they raised their fists and sang the ETA's rallying song, joined by supporters in the public. When proceedings resumed, they refused to identify themselves and gave their nationalities as "Basque".

Chapartegui read a statement saying they would not answer questions. "You can convict us, but you can never judge us," he said.

Chapartegui was arrested in southwest France in 2001 as he allegedly prepared to steal explosives from a warehouse.

The other defendants were five alleged ETA members and a family of five who prosecutors say kept a major arms cache on their property.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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