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Ex-ETA leader jailed for 1997 plot to attack Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I

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By AFP

Spain's former King Juan Carlos I pictured alongside Princess Cristina in October 1997.


Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I pictured alongside Princess Cristina in October 1997.

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Copyright 
AP Photo/Armando Franca, File

The former leader of the Basque separatist group ETA has been jailed for ordering an attack on Spain’s former king.

María Soledad Iparraguirre Guenechea was found guilty of “crimes against the Crown” and “possession of weapons of war within a terrorist organisation”.

Iparraguirre — who is also known as “Anboto”, was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison on Tuesday.

She had admitted the charges to Spain’s National Court, which specialises in terrorism cases.

The sentence comes on top of an initial 122-year jail term that Iparraguirre is already serving, said judge José Antonio Mora.

The 60-year-old was accused of organising a plan to attack Spain’s then-king Juan Carlos I during the inauguration of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997.

The attempt resulted in the murder of a Basque regional police officer.

The perpetrator of the attack, Eneko Gogeaskoetxea, was arrested in July 2011 in Cambridge in the UK, where he had been living for several years with his wife and children under a false identity. Gogeaskoetxea was sentenced to 92 years in prison in May 2016.

Meanwhile “Anboto” was arrested alongside her partner in October 2004 in France during a large-scale police raid in Salies-de-Béarn.

She was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in France for “directing” a terrorist enterprise and was handed over to Madrid in September 2019 after completing her sentence.

Last July, Iparraguirre was jailed for 122 years for the 1995 murder of a Spanish soldier, Luciano Cortizo, who died in a car bomb attack in the city of Leon.

In May 2018, “Anboto” was chosen by ETA to announce that the Basque group had dissolved. In total, 853 deaths have been attributed to the separatist organisation in four decades.

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