30 March 2007

All evidence heard in leftwing nationalist groups' macro-trial

All the evidence in the 18/98 macro-trial against 52 members of leftwing nationalist groups has been heard. Those accused left court shouting "Up with a free Basque Country!"

In the morning, court president Angela Murillo let the 52 charged pronounce their last statements. Nevertheless, Murillo interrupted the session for six hours after those accused applauded the last words by their lawyer, Iñigo Iruin, voicing his solidarity with the 52 accused in the name of all defence lawyers.

Furthermore, the court rejected to admit the 15,000 self-incriminating signatures gathered by the groups in support of the 18/98. In turn, Spanish Police stopped a bus carrying supporters of those on the bench and took pictures of all of them.

Last day of long trial

The last session of this process that started one year and a half ago was held Wednesday, March 14. The theory "everything is ETA" ( diferent social and political organization as well as media are part of ETA) has been seriously questioned throughout the trial.

After 16 months of trial, those accused had the chance to defend themselves for the last time from the accusations for which the prosecutor requests almost 500 years in prison.

All the accused said they made their own the words pronounced by already deceased freeedom fighter Jokin Gorostidi. His words were "Yesterday like today, I'm kidnapped by the war strategy of the Spanish State. The Basque Country needs the word and the decision. They won't silence us until that is won. Let the Basque Country in peace, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Up with a free Basque Country!"

There have been all kinds of incidents and controversies in the trial: incomplete documents, lost evidence or out of place, biasing accusations to court members, and contradictory statements in which has been described as a "political trial."

Nevertheless, the Public Prosecution's Office and the Association of Terrorism Victims have maintained their accusations that such leftwing nationalist groups as KAS, EKIN and Xaki or the Josemi Zumalabe Foundation are part or collaborate with the armed band ETA.

Most Basque unions and parties have supported those accused in the case and demonstrated against it in several occasions voicing their solidarity, the last time on Saturday, March 10 when thousands of people march against the case.

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