Monday 18 December 2017

Extradition hearing for ETA suspect wanted for attempting to kill Spanish King

Neil Lancefield

An extradition hearing will begin today for a suspected terrorist wanted in Spain for an alleged attempt to kill the country's king.

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea was arrested on July 7 in England where it was claimed he was living under the name Cyril Macq.

He is fighting extradition over a string of alleged offences which include membership of Basque separatist group Eta, the attempted assassination of King Juan Carlos in October 1997 and the murder of a police officer.

The 44-year-old will appear in London in London at 10am in a hearing scheduled to go on for two days, and also a third day in January.

In July, James Stansfeld, for the Spanish authorities, said: "The requested person was stopped whilst in the Guggenheim (museum) gardens filling garden window boxes with ammunition for grenade launchers.

"They were stopped by the police.

"To effect his escape the police officer who stopped them was shot and killed."

The group has been linked with a string of assassination plots on Juan Carlos, who became king in 1975.

The European arrest warrant for Gogeaskoetxea says he is wanted for eight offences: membership of terrorist organisation Eta; the attempted assassination of the king of Spain; possession of ammunition; the murder of a police officer; three counts of theft of vehicles; and forgery of public documents, namely the transferring of licence plates.

Counter-terrorism police carried out searches of Gogeaskoetxea's house and two businesses in Cambridge.

The Spanish interior ministry said police were tipped off to the Cambridge address after a Spanish national spotted Gogeaskoetxea at a sports club nearby.

He is believed to have been living in Cambridge with his family for some time.

His brother Ibon Gogeaskoetxea, accused of being an Eta leader, was arrested in February last year in Normandy, France, and jailed.

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