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Rafa Diez says he and Otegi prompted end to violence



Rafa Diez Usabiaga, told the court that ETA's "change of strategy" began to be forged because he and Otegi were "shaken" by the collapse of the previous ETA ceasefire.

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Former secretary general of LAB, Rafa Diez Usabiaga, stated that his aim and that of the other seven accused of trying to rebuild Batasuna through Bateragune was to open the debate about putting an end to violence within the nationalist left .

Díez Usabiaga stated that he and the other defendants decided to develop the debate "independently" and "without any type of supervision" -a reference to the Basque armed organization ETA- and denied belonging to Bateragune or having taken part in any of the group''s meetings, which he described as an "internal structure of Ekin."

The defendant declared himself proud to have contributed to the opening of a new phase in order to "irreversibly" achieve a future of peace and solutions following the "great historical debate" that has taken place within the nationalist left - "without any form of input " from ETA - about ending the violence.

Usabiaga Diez explained that following the breakdown of ETA''s previous ceasefire, with the bombing of Barajas airport''s Terminal 4 in 2006, Otegi and he were "shaken" because the process had raised great expectations within Basque society, which led to the nationalist left contemplating a "great historical debate" in order to change its political strategy.

After describing himself and Otegi as "political animals", Díez Usabiaga said they were both responsible for "opening the political debate" in the nationalist left and starting to develop a strategy "of our own volition and without any type of supervision" for bringing about "lasting peace and democratic solutions."

Following the statement given by Rafa Díez, the defendants will testify in the following order: Arkaitz Rodriguez, Arnaldo Otegi, Sonia Jacinto, Amaia Esnal, Txelui Moreno, Jose Manuel Serra and Miren Zabaleta.

The prosecution is requesting 10 years in prison for the eight defendants accused of attempting to rebuild the outlawed formation. Voices Against Terrorism, has raised its request to a maximum penalty of 14 years.


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