The judge of the National High Court, Manuel García Castellón, has agreed to have three of the four former ETA chiefs identified by the Civil Guard as responsible for the kidnapping and death of the Ermua PP councilor, Miguel Ángel Blanco, 25 years ago, under investigation and call them to testify. years.

In a car, the magistrate directs the procedure, initiated as a result of a complaint from the Dignity and Justice association, against José Javier Arizcuren Ruiz, Kantauri; Miguel Albisu Iriarte, Mikel Antza; and María Soledad Iparraguire, Anboto, for crimes of terrorist kidnapping and terrorist murder.

The judge also considers Ignacio de Gracia Arregui, Iñaki de Rentería, responsible for the events, although in his case the crimes are considered prescribed. Regarding Kantauri, the judge agrees, as proposed by the prosecutor in the case, Vicente González Mota, to reclaim France’s authorization to try him for these events, which was denied a few months ago. Having been delivered by France, the reasons for which Kantauri can be tried in Spain must first be authorized by the French Justice.

The head of the Central Court of Instruction 6 has agreed to the accusations after receiving the report from the Civil Guard that points to these members of the Zuba -the gang’s executive committee- for the kidnapping.

From the report, says the judge, the participation of those under investigation in the events can be inferred, “both in the planning and decision-making, as well as in the result.”

The key paragraph for the accusation is this: “Regarding the intervention in the result, despite not being the material executors of the kidnapping and murder, we can appreciate […] a participation in commission by omission, taking into account the position of dominance held by the executive body of the terrorist organization with real capacity during the more than 48 hours in which the kidnapping lasted, in order to stop it, being able to deduce from the refusal to do so a manifest intention in the production of the result”.

The judge, who was the instructor of the case 25 years ago, explains that in 1997, within a new “destabilization strategy” agreed by ETA, the Zuba decided to act against members of the Popular Party, then in government. And to do it “using a new procedure: the kidnapping of a militant of said formation under the threat of assassination if the Government did not accede to the demands that were raised”.

At that time, “the kidnapping of a Popular Party councilor was an absolute priority for the ETA leadership, an action that had to be carried out precisely in the summer and ‘as soon as possible'”. This is stated in internal handwritten letters from Kantauri, responsible for the illegal commandos -of already registered terrorists- of ETA addressed to the Vizcaya commando.

“The victim of this action, Miguel Ángel Blanco, in his capacity as a member of the aforementioned political party, had become a preferred target of ETA, not just of the Donosti commando, but of the entire terrorist organization, through its executive committee. , which in the summer of 1997 urgently sought to kidnap and assassinate an elected official of the aforementioned political formation”.

For the magistrate, the Zuba, was the body “where terrorist actions were decided, planned, directed and authorized” and it is “unlikely” that such a terrorist action would be carried out by a command “without prior decision and planning, as well as some concrete and specific orders, emanating from the main management structure of ETA”.

In this sense, states the order, from the analysis of the documents about the apprehended gang and the study of its structure and internal functioning, it can be concluded “that the members of the executive committee of ETA at the moment in which the kidnapping of the councilor of the PP could have prevented his assassination.”

According to the judge, the aforementioned members of the executive committee “had sufficient leadership and decision-making capacity over the organization’s terrorist activity to have been able to make the decision not to kidnap the victim, as well as to avoid the ultimate outcome of the kidnapping by having been able to give the Donosti commando the express and specific order to release him”.

But despite the multiple calls that, after the kidnapping of the victim, were made by the vast majority of Spanish civil society and the ruling political class at that time, the instructor continues, the members of the ETA executive committee “do not They did not carry out any act to end the kidnapping (action committed by the members of the Donosti commando following their guidelines) or the death of the victim, evidencing an unequivocal will in the production of the result”, highlights the instructor.

“At no time did they attempt to avoid or impede the assassination, although they were able to do so. The terrorist action that the Donosti commando carried out could not materialize on its own initiative, but rather it was carried out following the orders and with the express authorization of their superiors, the members of the executive committee of ETA”, added the judge.

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