ETA fugitive found living quiet life in Cambridge

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea was arrested in a joint police operation to surprise of local community

British police, working with Spain's Civil Guard, captured an alleged member of ETA's top military leadership who is believed to have formed part of a plot to assassinate King Juan Carlos during the 1997 inauguration of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea, 44, had been living quietly in Cambridge with his wife María Chaprillero and two children for at least six years, using the French name Cyril Macq as an alias. Along with his brother Ibon, who was captured in Normandy in February 2010, Gogeaskoetxea was an IT expert who was in charge of preparing car bombs when Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, alias "Txeroki," was military leader of the terrorist organization. Aspiazu Rubina was arrested in 2008.

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Gogeaskoetxea worked as a software programmer and was a member of the Cambridge Squash Club. Steve Casey, a fellow squash player who has known him for six years and called him "a fantastic companion," was surprise by the arrest. "I had no idea that he was Spanish. I knew his wife was. He always seemed to me to be a decent human being."

Describing the man he believed to be a French citizen named Cyril Macq, Casey said he was "supremely fit," and "totally committed to the squash club," where he performed secretarial duties.

"My son has said to me he was great bloke, and now I have told him that maybe he wasn't if he has done these things he is accused of," Casey told EL PAÍS.

Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba stated during a press conference that he does "not believe there is an ETA structure in Britain," and added that there is a possibility that Gogeaskoetxea might have even left the terrorist group prior to his arrest.

Security services are hoping to establish, after studying the respective documents, the real role played by the criminal. Rubalcaba said that his capture, as well as the arrest of suspect Daniel Derguy in France yesterday, reveal two things: "First, the excellent international cooperation we have with France and Britain. And second, the difficulty ETA has: wherever they go, there will always be a policeman, whatever the nationality."

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea.
Eneko Gogeaskoetxea.EFE
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