9 Ekin members remain in custody

09/14/2010
All nine people arrested on Tuesday accused of forming part of the banned political group Ekin were transferred to Madrid. Police carried out a total of 28 searches of residents and premises.

The nine people arrested on Tuesday in various locations across the Basque Country, Navarre, Cantabria and Valencia, accused of being members of the outlawed political group Ekin, spent their first night in the custody of the Civil Guard in Madrid.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Spanish civil guards made arrests in the Basque Country, Navarre, Valencia and Cantabria of nine people suspected of belonging to the direction of Ekin, an illegal Basque nationalist organisation with links to ETA.

Sources informed that the nine detainees also stand accused of continuing organisational activities even after a court ruled that they were like “the heart and stomach” of ETA and “contributing to the armed struggle”.

These are the first arrests carried out since the statement made by ETA just over a week ago announcing their intention to cease “armed offensive action”.

The detainees

According to antiterrorist sources, of the nine people arrested the ringleader is Eneko Compains Silva. Resident of Navarre he was arrested in Valencia where he was temporarily based.

The two suspects arrested in Navarre were Rosa Iriarte Laset (in Pamplona/Iruña) and Joxe Aldasoro Jauregi, the brother of Herri Batasuna leader Juan Kruz Aldasoro.

Arrests in Biscay were on two female suspects, Sandra Barrenetxea Diez in Bilbao and Erika Bilbao Barcena in Erandio.

In Donostia-San Sebastian arrests were made on Urko Aierbe and Ugaitz Elizaran, who was previously imprisoned for six years and is the brother of ex-ETA chief, Aitor Elizaran.

In Vitoria-Gasteiz, guards arrested Egoitz Garmendia Vera. Lastly, a female, Anaiz Ariznabarreta Ibarluzea from Eibar (Gipuzkoa), was arrested in Noja, Cantabria, a popular seaside destination where she was spending a few days.

Searches

The arrests all took place simultaneously at 2.30am, after which time Civil Guards planned to carry out thorough searches of all the properties in which the suspects have been based, which also include premises in Leioa, Eibar and Otxandio.

Case against Ekin

The National Audience, or High Court of Spain, in December 2007 sentenced 47 out of 52 people accused of belonging to the organisations Ekin, KAS and XAKI to between 2 and 24 years in prison.

In 2009, the Supreme Tribunal released nine of those imprisoned and considerably reduced the sentences of all but one of the remaining 38 people jailed two years previously.

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