Basque mayor arrested on possible terrorist ties

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The mayor is suspected of being a member of the Basque separatist group ETA and of supporting the group’s activities.

2 May 2008

MADRID - A Spanish mayor in the Basque region has been arrested on suspicion of supporting the militant Basque separatist group ETA, authorities said Wednesday.

Inocencia Galparsoro, mayor of the small city of Mondragon near San Sebastian, was taken into custody on Wednesday under orders from judge Baltasar Garzon, citing evidence she had supported the group.

She is also accused of continued involvement in the Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) party after it had been made illegal.

Judge Garzón alleges that she repeatedly failed to comply with a High Court order suspending ANV's activities as of February this year because of evidence linking the party to ETA.

Weeks later, in Mondragon, a local socialist politician was gunned down by ETA just two days before parliamentary elections. Galparsoro has persistently refused to condemn the assassination.

Hours after the arrests, three bombs exploded in the region. Initial reports said no one was wounded.

Two explosives went off shortly after midnight nearly simultaneously in a parking lot in San Sebastian. Warnings attributed to ETA had spoken of an attack.

A third explosion went off in Arrigorriaga near Bilbao outside a labour department building.

Galparsoro is due to be held in jail until trial after appearing before court on Tuesday. She stands accused of membership of a terrorist organisation and of providing support to terrorists.

[dpa / El Pais / Jose Yoldi / Expatica]

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