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Bateragune trial

Supreme Court reduces Otegi and Diez sentence from 10 to 6 years

Otegi and Diez see their sentence reduced four years but will remain in prison.

  • Former Batasuna spokesman Arnaldo Otegi. Photo: EFE

    Former Batasuna spokesman Arnaldo Otegi. Photo: EFE

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Spain's Supreme Court, one of the highest in the country, reduced on Wednesday to six years a ten-year sentence to former Batasuna spokesman Arnaldo Otegi and the ex-Secretary General of the Basque nationalist trade union LAB Rafa Diez.

Last March, the National Court sentenced Otegi and Diaz to ten years in prison on charges of belonging to ETA and for trying to reform an outlawed political group.

The court found them guilty of belonging to a select group within the ranks of the nationalist left; that "in full collusion and following orders received from ETA, of which they formed a part, they were designing a strategy in order to build up nationalist forces."

The sentence ruled that in 2008 ETA ordered Otegi and Díez to create a body that would act as its political wing. Although the court ruled that the Prosecutor had not proven beyond doubt that the resulting body was Bateragune, it accepted as proven that ETA sent orders to the members of that group "to plan and manage a new strategy for combining nationalist forces."

Otegi and the four other convicted members were found to have "received direct orders from ETA". The court based its conclusion on evidence of meetings held by the accused at the LAB headquarters, trips made to France in order to meet with people with links to ETA and documentation in which the armed group are seen to be passing on orders of a political nature.


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