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January 12, 2015
January 12, 2015

16 detained in an operation against left-wing Basque nationalist lawyers

Translator: Eleni Nicolaou
Source: Público  Category: Protest
This article is also available in: eles
16 detained in an operation against left-wing Basque nationalist lawyers

Agents of the Civil Guard arrest the lawyer Jaione Carrera in Pamplona. EFE

Most of them are lawyers, including the defence attorneys of leading members of Batasuna, PCTV [1] and ANV [2] today before the National Court. They are accused for belonging to a terrorist band, for money laundering and for financial crimes.

Sixteen people, including 12 lawyers and 4 ex-treasurers from the collective in support of prisoners of ETA Herrira, have been detained in Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya, Navarra and Madrid, in an operation of the Civil Guard against the nationalist left and the so-called ‘jail front’ of ETA.

Among those detained was Amaia Izko, the lawyer and spokesman of Sortu, the lawyers Arantxa Aparicio, Aier Larrarte, Jaoine Karrera and Ane Ituño and the veterans Ainhoa Baglietto, Kepa Mancisidor and Alfonso Zenon, as sources of counterterrorism reported. Javier Carballido, ex-tresurer of the Herrira collective in support of ETA prisoners, was also arrested. The Ministry of Interior accuses the detainees for belonging to a terrorist band, for money laundering and for financial crimes. In particular, they are accused for tax evasion of over 1.3 billion euros in 2012 and 2013.

Nationalist left sources confirmed that some of the detainees are the defense attorneys of Batasuna, PCTV and ANV leaders at the trial that should have started today in front of the National High Court against 35 indicted for belonging to a terrorist band. Three detainees are lawyers who should have been present today at the National High Court, which finally decided to postpone the trial after the detentions. The defence team of the 35 indicted had requested the suspension of the case.

The Ministry of Interior published a statement informing about the operation that began early in the morning and includes registrations in several herriko taverns [3] of Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa and at least one central law firm in Bilbao. The LAB labour union headquarters in Bilbao have also been registered. The union has denounced that the Civil Guard has seized the money raised during the demonstration against the dispersing of prisoners on Saturday.

The Civil Guard has named it ‘Operation Mate’.This name has been chosen one year after the so-called ‘Operation Check’, also against the ETA network of lawyers, in which Arantza Zulueta, their principal responsible, was arrested.

Coinciding with the trial

The operation, which is the first one this year against the alleged terrorist group’s environment, is led by the judge of the High Court, Eloy Velasco and coincides with the start of the trial against the leaders of Batasuna, PCTV and ANV in Madrid of 35 indicted for participating in a terrorist group. After the police operation, the High Court has postponed the trial.

Among the indicted is Pernando Barrena, leader of the nationalist left and former parliamentary councillor, who this morning wrote in his twitter account that “the Civil Guard is detaining our lawyers in our hotel in Madrid. Turkish democracy”.

A little later, he added that “the thirst of the State for revenge has no limits: they just arrested the lawyers who reversed the Parot doctrine in Strasbourg”.

These are the first detentions of the year related to the terrorist group, after having arrested 16 people in 2014, allegedly linked to ETA, four of which outside Spain.

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[1]: PCTV: Communist Party of the Basque country

[2]:ANC: Basque National Action

[3]: “People’s taverns”, prone to left-wing Basque Nationalism

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