On 20th February, the offices of the Basque newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria, based in Andoain, northern Spain, were raided by Civil Guard police officers following an order issued by National Tribunal Judge Juan del Olmo.  Ten of the newspaper’s senior staff were arrested and taken to the National Tribunal in Madrid.  Judge del Olmo announced that the action had been taken to investigate claims that the newspaper had been created and financeed by the Basque armed group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) which had used it to ‘launder’ money obtained from extortion and kidnapping.  He added that the newspaper had disseminated ETA’s ‘terrorist’ ideology.


Official Spanish government commentary on the case is that Judge del Olmo is investigating ETA documents from 1990 that apparently show that the organisation helped to finance the setting up of Euskaldunon Egunkaria and established the newspaper’s editorial policy. The names of those arrested on 20 February had been listed in papers seized from ETA members between 1990-93.  Several of the accused dispute that the newspaper acted as an agent of ETA and refer to their own personal and open criticism of ETA. 



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