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ETA suspect fights extradition from Britain

16th July 2012, Comments0 comments

A suspected member of the Basque separatist group ETA appeared in court in Edinburgh on Monday opposing bids to extradite him to France and Spain.

Scottish police arrested Benat Ordonez in a raid in Edinburgh on Friday. The 36-year-old is wanted by both French and Spanish authorities for allegedly transferring goods and people between the two countries for ETA.

An initial extradition hearing in Edinburgh heard that Ordonez is wanted under two extradition warrants from France and Spain.

The father-of-two, who has lived in Britain since 2001, was sentenced to five years in prison in his absence by a Paris court in 2008.

Spanish authorities are seeking his return to the country so that he can stand trial there.

Ordonez's solicitor Aamer Anwar told the court that his client "does not consent to the extradition proceedings and denies any wrongdoing in France or in Spain".

He added that, despite media speculation, Ordonez "is no threat to the Olympics" in London, which open in 11 days.

Ordonez was remanded in custody and a full hearing will be held in Edinburgh next month.

ETA, listed by the European Union and the United States as a terrorist group, vowed last week to stick by a decision to abandon violence in its fight for an independent homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

Spain and France have refused to enter negotiations with ETA, demanding the group disarm and disband after four decades of bombings and shootings blamed for more than 800 deaths.

© 2012 AFP

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