Josu Ternera, Former Head of the Basque Organisation ETA, Arrested in France

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Josu Ternera, ex president of ETA arrested in France

On the run since 2002 and sentenced in 2017 to 8 years in prison in France, Josu Ternera, the former political leader of the separatist organisation was arrested on Thursday 16th May, 2019.

The former political leader of the Basque separatist organization ETA, Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea Bengoetxea, was arrested Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Haute-Savoie in execution of an arrest warrant against him for having been sentenced in 2017 to 8 years of prison in France, we learned from a judicial source.

More known under the name of Josu Ternera, he had been on the run since 2002. The Paris Criminal Court had sentenced him in his absence on 1 June 2017 for “participation in a terrorist criminal organization”.

“Final declaration”

Very influential in the organization, he had recorded the “final declaration” by which ETA announced its final dissolution in May 2018.

ETA’s historic leader from 1977 to 1992, elected MP in 1998 of Herri Batasuna (radical nationalist party) now dissolved, Josu Ternera had escaped an attempted arrest in France in 2013.

Operation of the DGSI

He went into hiding to escape prosecution for his role in an attack on a Civil Guard barracks in Zaragoza, northern Spain, which killed 11 people, including five children in 1987.

He was arrested Thursday morning in Sallanches in the French Alps, in a joint operation with the French General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), according to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

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