Basque separatists on trial for airport car bomb

by William ASTON on May 4, 2010

The trial has begun for the three Basque separatists alleged to have carried out the airport bombing that killed two people in Madrid in 2006. Eta, a separatist group, came forward to take responsibility for the blast, but maintained that the deaths were unintentional.

Mikel San Sebastian, Igor Portu, and Mattin Sarasola will stand trial for the December 2006 bombing, but during court proceedings have refused to address the court and declined to enter a plea. All three men are accused of planting explosives in the van, which was parked in a car park at the airport.

The alleged bombers have been hostile towards the court with Mr Sarasola telling the court he refuses to take part in its fascist proceedings. The attack reportedly halted talks between Eta and the Spanish government.

The blast killed two Ecuadorian immigrants asleep in their vehicles. An additional 41 people were injured when the blast reduced the Barajas airport car park to rubble. The deaths are the first that Eta has been accused of in over three years and effectively ended an open dialogue with the Spanish government. A ceasefire was called in March 2006 between the armed separatists and the government, but promptly ended in June 2007.

Eta has been fighting for independence in northern Spain and parts of south-west France. Since its inception over three decades ago, Eta has been accused having a hand in more than 800 deaths. Mr Sarasola and Mr Portu were apprehended in January 2008, and Mr San Sebastian was arrested several weeks later in France.

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