Former ETA Leader Sentenced to 105 Years in Prison

By Dialogo
November 09, 2011


Former ETA military chief Javier García Gaztelu, alias “Txapote,” has been sentenced to 105 years in prison for the murder of a politician and his bodyguard in 2000, in the first verdict of this kind handed down since the Basque armed separatist organization renounced violence.

“Txapote,” who is already serving time in Spain for other offenses, was convicted by the National High Court, Spain’s chief criminal court, on one count of “terrorism resulting in death” for each of the two victims of the attack, according to the verdict made public on November 7.

The former ETA supreme military commander was also convicted of the injuries suffered by two other people in the attack, as well as on one count of “falsification of a public record.”

This is the first conviction of a former ETA leader since the Basque armed separatist organization announced “a definitive halt to its armed activity” on October 20.

“Txapote” was convicted on November 7 of the car-bomb murder of Fernando Buesa, a socialist legislator in the Basque regional parliament, and his bodyguard, Jorge Díez, who died as the result of the explosion of a car bomb in Vitoria (Basque Country, in northern Spain) on February 22, 2000, in an attack in which two other people were also injured.

According to the verdict, “Txapote” was, “at the time of the events, responsible for the ‘illegal commandos’ of the E.T.A. terrorist organization, and as such, in charge of conveying instructions and decisions and providing the resources necessary to carry them out” to the individuals who directly perpetrated the attack, who were convicted previously.

The verdict affirms that one of the two perpetrators who placed the car bomb, “carrying out the orders given by the accused, Francisco-Javier García Gaztelu, activated the remote control and caused the explosion of the explosive device.”



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