Wednesday, June 7

The National Court reopens the Santa Pola attack and points to six former ETA chiefs

State in which the Santa Pola barracks remained after suffering the car bomb attack. / LUIS CALABOR / EC

It is the third cause that reactivates to determine if there was a crime by omission by not having ordered the suspension of the crime with two fatalities

Melchor Saiz-Pardo

The judicial siege of the former heads of ETA from the National High Court and the Dignity and Justice victims’ association continues. Judge Manuel García-Castellón has decided to reopen the case for the attack on August 4, 2002 in the Alicante town of Santa Pola.

The judge, in an order dated last Friday, has admitted for processing the complaint of the association directed by Daniel Portero, son of the Andalusian prosecutor assassinated by ETA, against six former heads of the terrorist group for their alleged responsibility in the explosion on the afternoon of that Sunday almost 20 years ago of a car bomb with a hundred kilos of Titadyne dynamite and shrapnel in front of the Civil Guard barracks house in the Mediterranean municipality. The attack cost the life of a pensioner who was waiting for the bus, Cecilio Gallego, and the six-year-old girl Silvia Martínez Santiago, the daughter of an agent.

The complaint is directed against Juan Antonio Olarra Guridi, ‘Jon’; Ainhoa ​​Mugica, ‘Olga’; Felix Ignacio Esparza, ‘Navarro’; Mikel Albisu, ‘Mikel Antza’; Ramón Sagarzazu, ‘Ramontxo’; and María Soledad Iparraguire, ‘Anboto’.

The first diligence ordered by the magistrate after resurrecting this summary 9/2002 is to order the anti-terrorist services of the Police and the Civil Guard to collect “how much data is in their possession that allows them to relate” the six former ETA chiefs with that attack by the who were already sentenced in 2012 to 843 years Óscar Celarain and Andoni Otegi, material authors of the placement of the vehicle full of explosives.

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After opening proceedings this month and obtaining the support of the Prosecutor’s Office, the magistrate has reactivated this case following the Dignity and Justice thesis of proceeding criminally against the “author behind the author.” Or what comes to the same thing, prosecute the ringleaders for being the masterminds of the attacks or for not having prevented these murders while having the capacity to do so (“commission by omission”). In the case of Santa Pola, the complaint maintains that the ETA leaders were at that time part of the executive committee of the terrorist group and omitted the counterorders so that the attack would not be perpetrated.

On March 17, García-Castellón himself reopened the investigation into the murder of the PP councilor from the Biscayan town of Ermua Miguel Ángel Blanco on July 12, 1997 to try to put nine of the former ETA chiefs on the bench in those days.

Another magistrate of the National High Court, Alejandro Abascal, charged last year the former head of ETA Mikel Albisu, ‘Antza’, for his possible responsibility in the murder of popular councilor Gregorio Ordóñez in 1995, as head of the gang’s logistics apparatus.

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