Wednesday, October 04, 2006

ETA Hunger Striker in Serious Condition / Venezuelan official says no ETA member employed by Government

ETA Hunger Striker in Serious Condition / Venezuelan official says no ETA member employed by Government

German Press Agency
ETA Hunger Striker in Serious Condition
October 2, 2006

Madrid- A Spanish court on Monday granted permission for a convicted
ETA terrorist, whose condition in a prison hospital after almost two
months on hunger strike is said to be life-threatening, to be moved
to a special facility. Spain's National Court acceded to the request
by the state prosecution to have 51-year-old Jose Ignacio de Juana
Chaos moved for special treatment.

De Juana Chaos, one of ETA's most brutal operatives, went on hunger
strike on August 7 to protest his continued detention.

In 1987, he was sentenced to over 3,000 years in prison for his part
in 11 terrorist attacks in which 25 people were killed.

In accordance with Spanish law, however, he only had to serve 18
years of his sentence, ending in 2005.

The prospect of his release caused a wave of anger in Spain, so
instead of releasing him, the authorities issued new criminal
proceedings against him.

They accused de Juana Chaos of membership of a terrorist organization
and of threatening judicial officials with recrimination in articles
in the Basque newspaper Gara.
Associated Press
Venezuelan official says no ETA member employed by Government
October 2, 2006

Venezuela's justice minister on Monday denied that the government of
President Hugo Chavez is employing any member of the Basque
separatist group ETA.

Jesse Chacon's comments came after opposition candidate Manuel
Rosales accused Chavez of flirting with terrorist groups, citing
Spain's announcement last week that it was investigating reports that
Arturo Cubillas — an alleged former ETA militant — has been working
at Venezuela's agriculture ministry since October 2005.

"No member of ETA exists in the government," Chacon said Monday.

The justice minister told reporters that Cubillas has lived in
Venezuela since 1989 with his Venezuelan-born wife, who works for the

He said Cubillas came to the country along with 10 other "people
linked to the Basque problem that existed at that moment in Spain" as
part of a diplomatic agreement that year between Venezuela, Spain and

"They remade their lives here, and they don't have any arrest
warrants out (for them) by any government," he said.

Chacon did not say whether Cubillas was employed by the government,
however, adding that he doesn't "know who the agriculture ministry

Spanish Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said last week
that officials were investigating whether any criminal charges are
still pending against Cubillas.

Earlier Monday, Rosales, used the revelation to attack Chavez, who he
faces in Dec. 3 presidential elections.

"It's not right that we have a terrorist in the government," Rosales
told a news conference. "We shouldn't be forging ties with groups
that are identified with terrorism."

Chavez has rejected previous accusations that he sympathizes with
terrorist groups and has strongly condemned terrorist attacks in
Spain, the United States and elsewhere.

Cubillas is wanted by Spanish police for allegedly having belonged to
an ETA commando unit blamed for three murders in 1984-85, according
to the Spanish newspapers ABC and El Mundo. He was arrested in France
in 1987, deported to Algeria and sent from there to Venezuela in
1989, along with 10 other ETA members, ABC said.

Cubillas was detained by Venezuelan police in 2002 but released when
they determined that his name was not on a list of ETA members sought
by Spain's National Court, the papers said.

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