Josu Ternera, 2002 file pic

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EPA

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Josu Ternera has accomplished time in French and Spanish jails

The political chief of the Basque separatist group Eta has been arrested within the French Alps after 17 years on the run, officers say.

In a joint French-Spanish police operation, Josu Ternera Рwhose actual identify is Jos̩ Antonio Urrutikoetxea Рwas arrested in Sallanches.

He’s accused over a number of Eta killings.

Eta, which waged a violent marketing campaign for Basque independence for greater than 40 years, mentioned in 2018 it was disbanding.

The group killed greater than 800 folks throughout its marketing campaign of violence earlier than declaring a ceasefire in 2011.

Stories say Ternera is severely ailing and Spanish police tipped off their French colleagues that he was on his solution to hospital, triggering his arrest.

Spanish prosecutors allege that Josu Ternera was concerned in a automobile bomb assault exterior a Civil Guard barracks within the northern metropolis of Zaragoza in December 1987, which killed 11 folks, together with 5 youngsters.

From 1989 to 2000 he was held in French and Spanish jails.

In an audio announcement in Might 2018, he mentioned Eta had “fully dismantled all of its constructions” and would “now not specific political positions, promote initiatives or work together with different actors”.

He mentioned former members would “proceed the wrestle for a reunited, impartial, socialist, Basque-speaking and non patriarchal Basque Nation”.

The group started its marketing campaign in 1968, throughout the Franco navy dictatorship, and is taken into account a terrorist organisation by the European Union.

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Media captionETA has “fully dismantled all of its constructions”

Josu Ternera was elected to the Basque regional parliament, regardless of being prosecuted by the Spanish authorities.

Spain’s Supreme Court docket had ordered him to seem earlier than a choose in November 2002 however he by no means turned up. At that time a world arrest warrant was issued, and Interpol listed him among the many most wished fugitives.