Five members of the civil society basque had been arrested Friday in possession of a stock of arms of the basque separatist organisation ETA. Presented to a judge of anti-terrorism on Tuesday, they were indicted and left free under judicial control .
29 handguns, 9 rifles, 12 submachine guns, 2 rockets, chargers, ammunition, detonators and explosives. It is a veritable arsenal that had been seized Friday near Bayonne (Pyrenees-Atlantiques) by the forces of law and order. And the five people arrested in possession of this stock of arms of the basque separatist organisation ETA have been presented to a judge of anti-terrorism on Tuesday and indicted in the aftermath. They had been transferred on Monday from Biarritz to Paris. The public prosecutor’s office opened a judicial information, in particular for port, transport and possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives, in relation with a terrorist enterprise.
Among those five people are left free under judicial control: the leader of the environmental movement, Bizi!, Jean-Noël Etcheverry, said Txetx, Michel Berhocoirigoin, former president of the Chamber of agriculture of the Basque Country, Michel Bergougnian, cooperator wine, the journalist Beatrice Haran-Soft, as well as a cameraman, Stéphane Etchegaray.
“READ ALSO: basque Country: the bulky stock of weapons of the ETA
on Friday evening, the police in france and spain have arrested these five people close to and inside a property in Louhossoa, near Bayonne, where they found a stockpile of awesome weapons. When the police arrived, “they had time to open the trunks and register a declaration of Txetx,” said the lawyer, Me Jean-François Blanco. According to his lawyer, Me Jean-Michel Baloup, the journalist Beatrice Haran-Soft had put at the disposal of his property, knowing that”a meeting on the peace process should stick to it, but she knew that there would be weapons”. In order to prove their good faith, the activists were quickly released of the texts that they present as exchanges with the executive committee of ETA, showing its willingness to deliver the weapons to destroy them.
“no one has the right to proclaim its destructive weapons, and possibly evidence,” replied the French minister of the Interior. Investigators want to know what the representatives of ETA, the group was in the relationship, including Jean-Noël Etcheverry, who seems to have had contacts with the most advanced. According to his lawyer, Txetx “claims his act and he is always available to continue the dismantling of the arsenal. He said in custody. But he refused to give the names of his interlocutors”.
Their arrests, which were carried out in great confusion, have been criticized by many elected officials, union representatives and associations who have offered their support. Their advocates have, in particular, denounced a political operation against a peace initiative. Elected officials of all stripes and LDH have lent their support to the arrested, while a few thousands of people have protested in their favor Saturday at Bayonne. The operation, conducted by police in the Raid, on the contrary has been presented by Paris and Madrid as “a blow” brought to the basque separatist organisation.
ETA was born in 1959 in the fight against the franco dictatorship, announced in October 2011 the definitive abandonment of an armed struggle against the Spanish State, which has claimed more than 800 dead in 40 years. No agreement with the Spanish authorities and the French has so far been reached on the terms of its disarmament.