Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Tripoli threatened by out of control blaze

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Washington accuses Moscow of violating arms treaty, agrees on tougher sanctions with European partners

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

France

Suspected ETA leader dies in Paris hospital

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-31

Javier Lopez Pena, the suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, has died in a Paris hospital aged 54, a police source said Saturday. Arrested in 2008, Pena, who used the alias Thierry, spent nearly the last five years in French jails.

The suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, who has been in French jails since his arrest in 2008, has died in a Paris hospital aged 54, a police source said Saturday.

Javier Lopez Pena, who used the alias Thierry, was believed to have been one of the masterminds of a 2006 car bomb attack at Madrid airport that killed two and ended a ceasefire by the banned group.

He died overnight Friday in the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital after suffering a stroke, the police source and a Basque prisoner support group said.

Pena had been on the run since 1983 before his arrest in May 2008 along with other suspected ETA members when police raided an apartment in the southwestern French city of Bordeaux.

He took the place of ETA's political chief Josu Ternera in 2006 during the outfit's failed peace negotiations with then prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government, according to Spanish anti-terrorism sources.

Pena was seen as a hardliner and reportedly pushed for ETA to end a ceasefire it had called in the middle of the last decade.

ETA announced a "permanent ceasefire" in March 2006 but formally called it off in June 2007, citing frustration with the lack of concessions on the part of the government in their tentative peace process.

Spanish police suspect Pena ordered the assassination of former Socialist town councillor Isaias Carrasco in 2008, just two days before a general election.

Pena joined ETA in 1980. Three years later he was detained in the French city of Bayonne and jailed for his involvement in ETA's extortion ring.

The outfit partially financed its activities by demanding that businesses in the Basque region pay a "revolutionary tax".

Pena is believed to have occupied several positions in ETA, including being responsible for the group's explosives and heading its military apparatus, before becoming the leader of the outfit.

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths in a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings for the independence of the Basque homeland, which straddles northern Spain and southwestern France.

Considered a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, it announced in October 2011 that it was giving up its armed struggle.

But it has yet to formally disarm, and the Spanish government has refused to hold talks with its leaders.
 

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-03-30

  • FRANCE

    French court sentences ETA ex-military chief to 20 years

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    ETA calls for talks over its 'definitive end' with France, Spain

    Read more

  • FRANCE - SPAIN

    French citizen’s extradition to Spain sparks outrage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)