Five ETA terrorists jailed for dynamite robbery
30 June 2005
PARIS — Five ETA terrorists were jailed for prison terms of 15 to 20 years for stealing or receiving more than eight tons of dynamite in the north-western French city of Plevin in 1999.
After eight hours of deliberation, the special criminal court in Paris meted out the highest jail term of 20 years to the alleged former chief of the Basque separatist group’s logistical apparatus, Asier Oyarzabal.
Judges handed jail terms of 18 years to activists Miren Argi Perurena and Jon Bienzobas, who were found guilty of carrying out the armed robbery.
Each of them was also found guilty of receiving the Plevin dynamite, as were companions Patxi Segurola Mayoz and Germin Martinez Vergars, who received 15 and 16 years behind bars, respectively.
The six-judge court was presided over by Judge Yves Jacob.
The court sentenced 10 alleged separatists of the Breton Revolutionary Army (ARB) – who had been on trial along with the five admitted ETA members since 1 June for having collaborated with the Basques in the dynamite operation – to prison terms ranging from two to seven years.
The sentences against the ETA members were more lenient than had been requested by the prosecution, which had asked for terms of 30 years for Oyarzabal, 25 for Perurena, 22 for Bienzobas and 18 for Vergara, although Segurola received the 15 years that had been requested for him.
The group stole the Titadyn-30 and 50 explosives along with detonators and detonating cord from a factory run by Titanite in Plevin in north-western France in September 1999.
Bienzobas, Perurena and Segurola were arrested a little over a day after the robbery in the southwestern French town of Idron, where they had stored 2.5 tons of the explosive.
Oyarzabal and Martinez, were arrested elsewhere in France in June 2001 and March 2004, respectively.
The charges against the group claimed that in 2000 and 2001, 18 deaths in Spain and one in France had been caused by bombs made using portions of the dynamite they stole.
ETA, which stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom, has been seeking independence for northeastern Spain and southwestern France’s Basque region for four decades.
More than 830 people have been killed in ETA’s terrorist attacks.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news