Spain ordered to release Basque ETA terrorist by European court


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Europe’s top human rights court has ordered Spain to free a Basque separatist militant, saying her extended detention was illegal and calling on Madrid to pay her €30,000 in compensation.

Inés del Rio, who was jailed in 1989 for her role in 23 assassinations and bombings, had been due for release in 2008. But courts prolonged her sentence, as well of those of dozens of other members of Basque independence movement ETA, which is accused of killing more than 800 people since the 1970s.

The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights ruled that the retrospective changes to her sentence violated her human rights.

Francisco Jose Alcaraz, head of the Voices Against Terrorism group, warned that the decision could lead to the release of up to a quarter of ETA prisoners.

Spain’s Minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, said the legal consequences of the verdict would be applied case by case.

“It cannot be that a person who has committed one murder suffers the same penal consequences as somebody who has committed 20,” he said.