The attack on the Arechavaleta barracks, in which two civil guards died, continues without culprits. The National Court has once again acquitted the ETA members José Antonio López Ruiz, Kubati, and José Miguel Latasa, Fermín, whom it had already exonerated in a sentence that the Supreme Court annulled two weeks ago for “lack of logic”.

Among other elements, the Supreme Court highlighted that according to the Court’s own ruling, the fingerprints of the two terrorists had appeared on the grenade launcher tubes used against the Arechavaleta barracks (Guipúzcoa) in July 1986. The grenades did not hit, but a booby trap Nearby, he killed Lieutenant Ignacio Mateu Istúriz and Agent Adrián González Revilla.

In reference to the fingerprints, the Supreme Court underlined that the acquittal sentence “does not reason why such indication, of undoubted proving intensity, in order to the criminal participation of the accused, does not serve to reach such purpose, an aspect in which the Judgment appealed does not make a plot route that can be taken as reasonable”.

The High Court ordered that the same three judges of the Hearing dictate a new sentence taking into account that information and others that also pointed to the conviction. The resolution of the magistrates José Antonio Mora (president), Fermín Echarri (rapporteur) and Julio de Diego has once again been acquittal.

In the new wording, they add to the initial ruling that “the appearance of fingerprints on one of the instruments used for its execution, such as PVC pipes, objects of legal trade, by itself is not enough to resolve the trial of authorship in favor of the accusatory hypothesis”.

It is added that “it does not seem logical” that if they had transported the tubes to the place of the attack and had placed them, in addition to introducing the grenades, “no more footprints” would appear (there was one of Fermín and two of Kubati).”

“In the opinion of the Court, it shows a punctual and sporadic contact with the aforementioned material, whose exact time and place cannot be proven, which prevents attributing any type of participation of the defendants in the facts subject to prosecution.”

The Supreme Court highlighted when annulling the first sentence that the two ETA members have been sentenced for a very similar attack with a grenade launcher on another barracks house the same night. The two ETA members claimed responsibility for the Ordizia attack, but not for the Arechavaleta attack. The Court affirms that it does not make sense for them to recognize one and not the other, taking into account that they have already served the maximum prison term and a new sentence would not have consequences for them.

The magistrates conclude that “reasonable doubts” persist about the participation of Kubati and Fermín, such as the attack being perpetrated by other ETA members active in the area at that time.

Faced with the first acquittal of the Court that was later annulled, the Prosecutor’s Office did not appeal. Yes, a brother of Ignacio Mateu did, whose father had already been assassinated before by ETA. The lawyer who presented the first cassation may present another against the new sentence, so that the Supreme Court examines if it already contains enough logic.

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