Suspected ETA militant arrested in Paris

26th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

After a car chase through central Paris a suspected member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA was arrested.

Paris – A suspected member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA was arrested Monday following a car chase by police through central Paris, a French judicial source said.

The man had in his vehicle a handgun, munitions, some computer material and numerous false administrative documents, the source said.

In Brussels, Spain's interior minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, confirmed to journalists the identify of the suspect as Iker Esperaza.

According to Spanish media, Esperaza was sentenced to five years in prison in 2002 for throwing firebombs at a train four years earlier.

Police from Boulogne-Billancourt pursued the suspect in his car until he was stopped and arrested apparently drunk, the source said.

He has been transferred to an anti-terrorism facility, the source said, adding that investigators had not yet determined the level of his alleged responsibility in ETA.

Several suspected ETA members have been recently arrested in France. On 10 April, a suspected ETA leader was arrested at a mainline train station in Paris.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its 40-year campaign of bombings and shootings to carve a Basque homeland out of parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

AFP / Expatica

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