The judge in the Miguel Ángel Blanco case prohibits ‘Mikel Antza’ from leaving Spain but rules out his imprisonment

‘Mikel Antza’ and the also former head of ETA ‘Anboto’ refuse to testify after the reopening of the investigations

MADRID, July 21 (.) –

The judge of the National High Court in charge of investigating the murder of the Popular Party councilor in Ermua, Miguel Ángel Blanco, agreed this Thursday to withdraw the passport of former ETA chief Mikel Albisu, alias ‘Mikel Antza’, while ruling out ordering his entry into provisional prison after an appearance in which both he and María Soledad Iparraguirre, ‘Anboto’, have refused to testify.

In an order issued a few hours after his appearance before the magistrate, and to which Europa Press has had access, the head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 6, Manuel García Castellón, has established that the former leader of the terrorist group must appear before the court closest to your home every fifteen days.

Finally, the judge urges ‘Mikel Antza’ to designate an address and telephone number where he could be notified or summoned, warning him that “failure to comply with the obligations imposed would lead to ordering his immediate imprisonment.” .

García Castellón has thus agreed to what was requested by the Dignity and Justice Association, the Victims of Terrorism Association and the Popular Party which, as popular accusations, had requested the withdrawal of the passport of ‘Mikel Antza’ himself.

The instructor adopts these measures “in view of the seriousness of the facts investigated and the high prison sentences with which they are repressed.” However, the magistrate rules out his admission to provisional prison as “it requires that the requirements of risk of flight and concealment of sources of evidence be met”, not being “feasible to assess him”.

WITHOUT “RISK OF CRIME REITERATION”

“We must take into consideration that at present there is no such risk of criminal repetition, given the dissolution of the terrorist organization ETA and the cessation of its criminal activities. Therefore, it is not necessary to attend to the seriousness of the acts that could be committed in within the terrorist organization. Hence, the requirements demanded by the precept that we are commenting on are not met either, with which, in the end, there is not a sufficient legal basis to order the provisional detention of the person under investigation, “he explains.

In addition, the magistrate maintains that “despite the detail and exhaustiveness of the report prepared by the Civil Guard, from which derives the attribution of the condition of being investigated” to ‘Mikel Antza’, “it is not specified, at the specific moment of commission of the criminal act, the physical place where the person under investigation was”, an “aspect that must be taken into account at this time when deciding on the imposition of personal precautionary measures”.

It should be remembered that the National Court already withdrew ‘Mikel Antza’ his passport last December, also prohibiting him from leaving the national territory without judicial authorization. It was, specifically, after his statement in another case, in which the magistrate Alejandro Abascal investigates the murder of the deputy mayor of San Sebastián Gregorio Ordóñez (PP) on January 23, 1995.

This decision by the magistrate comes after the statement in court by ‘Mikel Antza’ himself and María Soledad Iparraguirre, ‘Anboto’. In statements to the media, collected by this news agency, the former leaders’ lawyer explained that ‘Mikel Antza’ has availed himself of his right not to testify, alluding to the fact that he was already sentenced for belonging to the gang, fulfilling prison sentence in France.

In the case of ‘Anboto’, who has also ruled out answering all the questions, the former head of ETA has referred to the principle of specialty after recalling that she was handed over by France for other different events.


HIS LAWYER DENOUNCES THE AN’S “VENGEANCE”

After the judicial declaration, the lawyer of both ETA members has criticized the “cascade” of procedures that have been opened in recent months in the National High Court and that, in her opinion, “have no basis in legislation or jurisprudence” .

The lawyer has referred in this way to the reopening of legal cases that delve into the alleged responsibility of the members of the ETA leadership in some of the organization’s most shocking murders, such as that of Miguel Ángel Blanco himself.

In his opinion, this impulse to the investigations is “out of any time”. “If before it was done with the excuse of fighting against ETA, now it can only be done for revenge and to win the battle of the story in the territory of the National Court that they cannot win politically and socially,” he maintained.

From his point of view, this type of summons “represents, from the rights and legal point of view, an exceptional situation and an outrage” “They bring us to the memory of the worst times of the so-called legal engineering that accusations were created out of nowhere and where a report from the Civil Guard was worth more than what a judge said,” he lamented.

A “BREATH OF FRESH AIR”

For the lawyer of the Dignity and Justice Association, Vanessa Santiago, these citations represent a thread of “hope” for the victims. As she has pointed out, the promotion of these cases against the former leaders of ETA represent “a breath of fresh air” on the part of Justice despite the “current political situation”.

“It has become clear that (the judges) go independently. There are brave judges, willing to investigate the executive committee of ETA, for acts as despicable as the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a person. Obviously it did not depend on the decision of the members of a command, but that part of the executive committee came and that as such its members must be investigated”, he affirmed.

It was last March when Judge García Castellón agreed to reopen the investigation into the murder of the Popular Party councilor after admitting a complaint filed by the Dignity and Justice Association (DyJ).

In its brief, the association directed its accusation against the nine leaders of the gang at the time of the events: Ignacio Miguel Gracia Arregui, alias ‘Iñaki de Rentería’; José Javier Arizcuren, alias ‘Kantauri’; María Soledad Iparraguirre, alias ‘Anboto’; Juan Carlos Iglesias Chouzas, alias ‘Gaddafi’; Mikel Albisu, alias ‘Mikel Antza’; and Asier Oyarzabal, alias ‘Baltza’.

It should be remembered that, in the case of Blanco’s murder, the First Criminal Section of the National Court already sentenced in 2006 to 50 years in prison the former ETA leader Francisco Javier García Gaztelu, ‘Txapote’, and his sentimental partner and member of ETA Irantzu Gallastegui Sodupe, ‘Amaia’, as perpetrators.

In its sentence, the court assured that both “planned and executed the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Miguel Ángel Blanco, following the guidelines of the leadership of the terrorist organization ETA, whose most immediate objectives were the kidnapping of a PP councilor to demand in exchange for their release the approach of the prisoners of the gang to prisons in the Basque Country”.

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