Arnaldo Otegi and Rafael Diez could be sentenced to ten years in prison for playing a 'relevant role' in a permanent commission under direction from the armed Basque group ETA.
Arnaldo Otegi standing trial.
Former Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi and former Secretary General of nationalist trade union LAB Rafael Diez could be sentenced to ten years in prison for playing a 'relevant role' in a permanent commission under direction from the armed Basque group ETA, according to the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
The Prosecution believes Otegi, Diez and six other defendants formed part of a "permanent commission" (Bateragune) responsible for adapting the existing political strategy of the nationalist left, but under orders and direction from ETA.
Otegi, former Batasuna spokesman, maintains that the group formed by the eight people on trial, which he occasionally referred to ironically as "the Otegi group", did "not form part of ETA's plans" because precisely what it proposed was a change in strategy that would "irreversibly" set aside the use of violence.
He added that the only objective of the eight people currently standing trial - accused of attempting to reform Batasuna through Bateragune - was to steer the nationalist left away from a strategy "that combined armed violence with political struggle" towards one based on peace and democracy.