Ban to be sought for radical Basque parties before end January

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Public prosecutors will file charges against the ANV and the EHAK, seeking a ban on their activities.

14 January 2008

MADRID - Public prosecutors will file charges against Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (EHAK), seeking a ban on their activities because of their connection with Batasuna, the outlawed political wing of the terrorist group ETA.

The attorney's office is expected to file charges against EHAK in the coming days, while similar action against ANV has been pencilled in for the week of 21 to 27 January. In both cases, prosecutors will ask the Supreme Court to examine both parties' ties to Batasuna.

Their case is based on evidence that the few Batasuna leaders who have not been jailed since the Political Parties Law went into effect in 2002 are on the payroll of both parties, which hold seats in the Basque parliament and in town councils across the Basque Country and Navarre. EHAK has nine members in the regional parliament, while ANV has 337 local councillors.

Public prosecutors on Sunday also filed charges against the ANV mayor of Hernani, Maria Beitialarragoitia, because of statements she made during the presentation of ANV's candidates for the March elections in Pamplona on Saturday. The mayor asked for a round of applause for two alleged ETA members alleged to be behind the bomb attack on Barajas airport in December 2006 that resulted in two deaths.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / SUSANA URRA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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