Expatica news

Police seek evidence after four ETA arrests in France

18 February 2008

BILBAO/SEVILLE – French and Spanish counterterrorism police on Sunday were continuing to sift through evidence gathered from a house in southwestern France where four suspected ETA members were arrested on Friday night.

The four people were identified as Mikel San Sebastián Gaztelumendi and Joseba Iturbide Otxoteko, suspects in the December 2006 bombing of a parking lot at Madrid’s Barajas Airport in which two people were killed, and José Antonio Martínez Mur and Asunción Bengoetxea Arano, a couple in their late fifties who had allegedly been sheltering fugitive Basque terrorists for years.

They were arrested when police raided Martínez Mur’s home in a quiet residential suburb of Saint-Jean-de-Luz on France’s southern Atlantic coast on Friday night following a surveillance operation that had lasted several weeks.

"With this operation we have dismantled the cell that attacked [Barajas Airport], prevented two members of that cell from becoming part of ETA’s military command in France and, finally, we have dismantled part of the logistical apparatus ETA used to hide fugitives," Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said Saturday.

San Sebastián and Iturbide apparently fled to France in early January after two of their accomplices in the Barajas attack – Igor Portu y Mattin Sarasola – were arrested in the Basque Country.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / A. GUENAGA / I. PEDROTE 2008]

Subject: Spanish news