The former leader of ETA José Antonio Urrutikoetxea regretted this Wednesday that ETA put an end to its armed action “too late” and stressed that he left the band in September 2006 precisely because he considered that violence should be abandoned.
Questioned by the president of the Correctional Court of Paris who has been judging him since Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the gang between 2011 and 2013, Josu Ternera once again insisted that he was no longer a member of the organization at that time, although he was part of a delegation that went to Norway in that period to try to negotiate with the Spanish Government.
On the armed struggle in the Basque Country, he recalled that it had started much earlier, “in Franco’s time, in fascist times” and that from the first moment the violent action “was never an end in itself, but unfortunately it caused irreversible victims. That should not have happened.”
He said he regretted that “the end of the armed struggle came too late” and said that with the “spiral of violence” that was created in the Basque CountryIt was the “ethical dimension” of the phenomenon that led him to get involved in what he called “the resolution of the conflict.”
In order to Urrutikoetxea, the negotiation process that began in 2005 with the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero it should have been used to put an end to the violence.
According to his version, his departure from the band in September 2006, when he was in talks at Swiss with the Socialist Executive, it occurred “because it did not agree with the line of negotiation” that the band was adopting.
The truce that ETA had declared at the time was in practice broken when the terrorist organization committed the attack on the airport in Madrid-Barajas on December 30 of that year in which two people died.
Since his departure, Josu Ternera assured that he did not receive help from the gang nor did he see “any ETA militant” until he went to Norway in October 2011, at the request of the nationalist left, to be part of a delegation that expected to meet with a representative of the Government of Mariano Rajoy.
But the Executive finally decided do not send anyone.
He affirmed that they convinced him to join that delegation because since 2009 the pro-independence left had reached the same conclusion as him a few years earlier, that it made no sense to continue the armed struggle and that only action had to be used as tools. “political” and “democratic”.
After this second interrogation, two defense witnesses testified, the lawyer and former magistrate Philippe Texier and the sociologist Michel Wieviorka.
The trial, which ends this afternoon with the prosecutor’s petition and the defense argument, is the result of the sentence in absentia to eight years in prison that Josu Ternera received in 2017, when he was still in the secrecy.
As is your right, After being captured in May 2019, he asked for the process to be repeated in his presence.
He must sit on the bench again in September against him Correctional Court of Paris for another sentence handed down against him in 2010 also in absentia.
The French Justice has approved his delivery to Spain for two demands of the National Court of Madrid, one for his alleged involvement in the attack against the headquarters of the Civil Guard of Zaragoza in 1987 and another for the financing of ETA through the village bars.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.