toward the end of eta terrorism

Prosecutors find no evidence of glorifying terrorism in ETA homages

Government delegate criticizes Basque police "inaction" over receptions for prisoners released under “Parot doctrine” ruling

Bilbao / Madrid -

High Court prosecutors have received four of the six reports issued by the central government delegate in the Basque Country, Carlos Urquijo, with regard to several acts of homage afforded to ETA prisoners recently released under the European Court of Human Rights ruling quashing Spain's so-called "Parot doctrine." The legal mechanism which aimed to keep the most violent and dangerous prisoners behind bars by applying sentence reductions to each count they were sentenced for and not to maximum 30-year terms was overturned by the Strasbourg-based court.

However, state prosecutors said after studying the files that they contained nothing that could lead to a charge of glorifying terrorism, as the Interior Ministry had been seeking. Furthermore, the reports presented were "excessively concise" and "clearly insufficient." In all cases, the statements run to only three lines and lack basic information, such as the identity of the people who attended the receptions or the slogans that might have been shouted.

This lack of detail surprised the state prosecutors, which is to ask for additional reports from the central government delegation in the Basque Country over the homages to Juan José Legorburu in Amorebieta, Bizkaia; Javier Martínez Izagirre in Galdakao, Bizkaia; Juan Ignacio Delgado Goñi in Legazpi, Gipuzkoa, and Inmaculada Patxo in Bilbao.

The courts also believe that the security forces should have taken precautions to prevent any receptions. Government sources said that the simple act of sending the reports to the court was intended to send a clear message to the radical abertzale left that no form of gathering that could be interpreted as humiliating to ETA victims will be tolerated.

The delegate claims that 'kale borroka' street violence by ETA-affiliated Basque youths has increased

Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said after the regular Cabinet meeting on Friday that images of fireworks to salute the return of Martínez Izagirre — who was sentenced to 400 years for killing the three-year-old son of a civil guard in a car bomb attack, among other crimes — would not have occurred if public order in the Basque Country was under the auspice of the National Police or Civil Guard instead of the regional Ertzaintza police force. "I do not wish to go further than that," said the minister.

Fernández's remark was echoed on national radio by Urquijo, who criticized the "inaction" of the Ertzaintza at the homages, where it was not present "or at least not in uniform." Urquijo also noted that since the striking down of the Parot doctrine, leading to the release of some 30 ETA prisoners, so-called kale borroka street violence by ETA-affiliated Basque youths has increased. The Popular Party headquarters in Barakaldo was attacked with petrol bombs on Sunday, drawing "absolute rejection" from abertzale party Bildu, which nonetheless did not attend either a meeting of party spokesmen in the municipality to condemn the attack or an annual homage to victims of terrorism held in Getxo at the weekend.

At the reception for Legorburu, there were 25 people according to the report and Basque flags being waved. In Legazpi, 30 to 40 people gathered to welcome Delgado Goñi and the bells in the local church were pealed.

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