Royal terror suspect's 'false name'

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The Independent Online

A suspected terrorist wanted in Spain for an alleged attempt to kill the country's king was living in the UK under a false name, a court heard today.

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea was arrested in Cambridge today where he was living under the name Cyril Macq, City of Westminster Magistrates Court heard.

He told the court he would fight attempts to extradite him over a string of alleged offences which include membership of Basque separatist group Eta, the attempted assignation of King Juan Carlos in October 1997, and the murder of a police officer.

Gogeaskoetxea appeared in the dock flanked by three security guards with two more positioned at the doors of the court.

Asked if he consented to the extradition request he replied in English: "I do not."

Setting out the reasons why bail should not be granted, James Stansfeld, on behalf of the Spanish authorities, said: "The requested person was stopped whilst in the Guggenheim (museum) gardens filling garden window boxes with ammunition for grenade launchers.

"They were stopped by the police. To affect his escape the police officer who stopped them was shot and killed."

The court heard as he fled the scene Gogeaskoetxea hijacked three different cars from members of the public.

Mr Stansfeld said: "Those facts clearly show that this gentleman will do anything to evade capture."

He also said Gogeaskoetxea, 44, had obtained identification to allow him to live under a false name.

He said: "If he were to be released on bail he would be able to obtain a new false identity."

He continued: "His alleged involvement with the Eta terrorist organisation would certainly provide him with the means and indeed the contacts to hide from the authorities in this jurisdiction."

Katrina Orme, defending, made no application for bail.

But District Judge John Zani said there were "substantial grounds" for believing he would not voluntarily return to custody.

Miss Orme said the reasons her client would fight extradition included "human rights issues in respect of a fair trial" and "potential issues about political motivation in terms of the membership of the organisation concerned".

The judge told Gogeaskoetxea, who was wearing a blue Animal T-shirt and sporting a small beard, that he will next appear in court by video link on July 25.

The court heard the European arrest warrant stated that Gogeaskoetxea is wanted for eight offences: membership of terrorist organisation Eta; the attempted assassination of the king of Spain; possession of ammunition; the murder of a police officer; three counts of theft of vehicles; and forgery of public documents, namely the transferring of licence plates.

Scotland Yard and Cambridgeshire Police arrested him at a property in the university city at 8.55am following what they called an "intelligence-led" operation.

Eta, a militant group fighting for an independent Basque homeland, has been blamed for more than 800 deaths during its 42-year campaign in Spain.

The group has been linked with a string of assassination plots on Juan Carlos, who became king in 1975.