The Paris Correctional Court has acquitted this Wednesday the historic leader of ETA José Antonio Urrutikoetxea (‘Josu Ternera’) of the charge of belonging to the ETA gang between 2011 and mid-2013. In their decision, according to Efe, the three judges who They made up the room, they consider that there are neither material nor intentional elements that demonstrate that Urrutikoetxea belonged to the terrorist gang at that time.
Josu Ternera, the eternal fugitive who gave voice to the end of ETA
Josu Ternera, who has been on probation since the end of July 2020, has another trial pending in France for his alleged membership of ETA between 2002 and 2005. His release from prison was authorized for health reasons, as he suffers from cancer.
Josu Ternera joined the terrorist gang in 1968. When he was already one of the top leaders, ETA committed some of its most bloody attacks, including that of Hipercor and that of the Zaragoza barracks, both in 1987. In fact, in November 2002 he fled, as the Supreme Court had called him to declare as the alleged person responsible for the Aragonese capital, which caused eleven deaths. Veal was also a Basque parliamentarian for Euskal Herritarrok and who sat down with Jesús Eguiguren, then president of the PSE-EE, in the unsuccessful negotiations of the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with ETA. Together with Marixol Iparragirre (‘Anboto’), in 2018 he was in charge of reading the statement announcing the dissolution of the terrorist gang. “ETA concludes all its political activity. It will no longer be an agent who expresses political positions, promotes initiatives or challenges other actors,” he declared then, in Spanish.
A fugitive since 2002, he was finally arrested in the French Alps in May 2019, in an operation to which the then acting Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, recognized a “symbolic character”. It was not until January 2020 that the French Justice approved his extradition to Spain. In May 2021, he participated in a colloquium on peace organized by the French National Assembly. “Violence has never been an objective in itself,” he alleged there, admitting that it had caused “unfortunately irreversible losses and victims on both sides.”