A terrorist accused of plotting to assassinate the King of Spain and blow up Madrid airport can apply for British legal aid to fight his extradition.
Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui, 44, is also said to have planted bombs at a court house, barracks, a bullring and a town center in a two-year campaign for ETA from 1996 to 1998.
But because ETA was not classified as a terrorist organization in Britain at the time, Arronategui can apply for legal aid, Westminster magistrates decided yesterday.
Arronategui was living in the UK under the alias “Cyril Macq” and working as a computer program designer. He was arrested in Cambridge this month on suspicion of being a part of an ETA cell that plotted to kill King Juan Carlos. He was charged with the attempted assassination, of being a member of the Basque separatist organization, possession of ammunition, murdering a police officer and vehicle theft.
At court yesterday, Spanish authorities served six further warrants, all related to Arronategui planting bombs in Spain from 1996 to 1998. Two of the bombs went off, causing extensive damage and one injury.
Appearing by video link from Belmarsh prison, where he is on remand, Arronategui denied consent to extradition.
Defense Attorney (barrister) Mark Sumer said: “ETA was not classified as a terrorist organization in this country when the offences were alleged to have taken place.”
He was allowed to apply for legal aid for Arronategui, who will appear by video link on August 22 at Westminster magistrates, before a full review of the extradition warrants on September 7.
This article was published by the Mirror on July 26, 2011.
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