ETA trial judge stands down after "bastards" comment

But Murillo insists her impartiality cannot be doubted

The president of a three-judge tribunal hearing the case against four members of an ETA cell accused of assassinating Navarrese People's Union councilor José Javier Múgica in 2001 has recused herself from the trial after she was overheard calling the defendants "bastards" on Wednesday.

Judge Ángela Murillo was involved in a similar incident during the trial of Arnaldo Otegi, the former leader of ETA's outlawed political wing Batasuna, which led to a retrial after which Otegi was absolved of charges of glorifying terrorism.

Murillo said Thursday that her comment, although "clearly unfortunate" was not directed at anyone in particular and her impartiality "is not in doubt."

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