4 September 2007

Britain orders extradition of three Basque citizens

A British judge ruled on Friday that three Basques acussed of being members of the Basque armed group ETA should be extradited to Spain to face terrorism charges, court sources said.

However, the ruling was immediately appealed and the three suspects were remanded in custody until the appeal can be heard, probably not until October or November at the earliest.

In a 27-page ruling, the judge, Caroline Tubbs, rejected arguments put forward by the defence counsel, Richard Gordon, that the three were being prosecuted for their political beliefs. She said they should be returned to Spain to face charges.

Ana Isabel Lopez, Zigor Ruiz and Inigo Albisu are accused by Spanish authorities of planning to set off a bomb in Spain's northern city of Santander. This have been compeltelly denied by them and their defense. They were arrested under a European warrant in the northern English city of Sheffield in April where they were living and working.

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