4 February 2010

Trial against Egunkaria ends

The lawyers of the five indicted in the trial against the Basque language newspaper Egunkaria highlighted the absurdity of case during the last session on Monday.

Even the public prosecution said there wasn’t enough evidences against them and asked for the charges to be dropped. Despite that, the private prosecution represented by the lawyers of two Spanish right-wing associations requested they are sentenced for up to 14 years in jail.

The indicted have requested that the ill treatment they received should be reflected upon, and say that the only thing they are guilty of is having worked in favour of Basque culture.

Martxelo Otamendi, the paper’s former Editor-in-Chief, said: «I am guilty of running a Basque-language newspaper». He said he wanted to thank his colleagues for appointing him, and told them it had been an «honour» to share those years with the people in the dock. He pointed out that he had never been a member of ETA, and that Egunkaria had never been under its control. «The only thing we did was to work to develop our language». And he also made the following remark: «You can’t accuse someone of being a member of ETA if they themselves are not even aware of the fact».

The verdict is expected to be delivered within a few weeks.

Arrival of the Egunkaria Five to the Basque Country after the last session of the trial in Madrid.

Events in solidarity with Egunkaria were organised in Ireland by the Irish Basque Solidarity Committees over the past few days. 60 people attended a talk given by the coordination of the international campaign in favour of Egunkaria in Derry on Saturday and dozens more attended talks in Belfast and Dublin on Monday and Tuesday.

Talk organised in Derry.

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