Thursday, May 10, 2012

Basque leaders convicted in political trial

The Spanish Supreme Court has confirmed the prison sentence against five Basque citizens for their public political activity, which they consider "belonging to ETA". 

The sentence, which only mustered three supports of the five members of the tribunal, sentences Arnaldo Otegi (former speaker of Batasuna party), Rafa Díez (former secretary general of LAB union), Arkaitz Rodríguez, Sonia Jacinto and Miren Zabaleta to prison sentences between 6 and 7 and half years and a ban from holding public office of ten years after that. 

Two members of the high court issued particular votes: one asks the invalidation of the whole trial because the president of the original court, Ángela Murillo, was extremely partial, causing indefension, the other agrees but anyhow considers that there is not a single piece of evidence allowing for conviction and asks for acquittal instead.

The sentence is obviously political because it is just unthinkable that the judges are not following political directions from the Spanish government in this case (as in others) and therefore it means a further blow to the peace process impelled precisely by the people today convicted in Madrid. 

The five of Zutik Euskal Herria (Stand Up Basque Nation) are being punished precisely for impelling this, so far unilateral, peace process, for persuading ETA to cease all armed actions. 

Consequently I must understand this sentence, together with a total lack of negotiation or compromise of any sort from the Spanish side, as another unilateral attempt from the side of the Spanish State to destroy the peace process and force ETA or whoever else in the Basque society to take up arms again against the Spanish occupation. 

It seems that they will fail again. But one wonders: for how long will the Basque patience and determination hold in light of such continuous insults and aggressions?

Ref. Gara[es].

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