Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'60% of British citizens want voting reform'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Swedish FM: ‘Diplomacy today is about courage and patience’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Women journalists to male politicians: Hands off!

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's billion-euro private beach industry

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top Burundian judge says he has fled country after government pressure

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

UN denies claims it tried to cover up sex abuse in Central African Republic

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'François of Arabia' criticised in French press

Read more

Europe

Former Basque separatist leader arrested

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-13

Spanish police on Tuesday arrested the ex-leader of Batasuna, the banned political wing of terrorist organisation ETA. Arnaldo Otegi is suspected of trying to rebuild the party.

AFP - Police in Spain's northern Basque Country Tuesday arrested an ex-leader of Batasuna, the banned political wing of the armed separatist group ETA, accused of seeking to rebuild the party, a judicial source said.

Former Batasuna spokesman Arnaldo Otegi was held in the city of San Sebastian along with a top union leader and three other Basque militants suspected of having tried to "reform the leadership of Batasuna on the instructions of ETA," the source said.

Batasuna was banned in 2003 because of its supposed links with ETA, which is held responsible for 828 deaths in a 41-year campaign for independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Police made the arrests after a secret meeting at the Basque independence union LAB headquarters, Spanish media reported, with some saying a sixth person was also picked up.

Those arrested included the secretary general of the LAB union, Rafael Diez Usabiaga, a well-known figure in the Basque independence movement, the judicial source said.

The group of Basque separatists has been meeting secretly at the union headquarters since the beginning of the year, according to anti-terror sources cited by the Europa Press agency.

Otegi in the past few months has made several trips to southern France, another ETA base, where he is suspected of meeting with other leaders of the outlawed organisation, the sources told the agency.

Otegi was last jailed in June 2007 after the Supreme Court upheld a 15-month sentence for "glorifying terrorism" for praising veteran ETA leader Jose Miguel Benaran Ordenana at a memorial service in 2003.

A Spanish judge earlier this month him to again stand trial for "glorifying terrorism" five years ago.

Date created : 2009-10-13

COMMENT(S)