Bilbao, Aug 1 (EFE). – The five leaders of the abertzale left condemned by the Bateragune case will demand compensation from the State after the annulment of the sentence for which they served six years in prison, in addition to the disqualification for public office.
The Supreme Court yesterday overturned the Bateragune judgment after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) sentenced Spain for the partiality of a judge.
The coordinator of EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegi, the former union leader Rafa Díez, Miren Zabaleta, Sonia Jacinto and the general secretary of Sortu, Arkaitz Rodríguez, served sentences of six and six half years in prison, in addition to being disqualified from public office.
The lawyer of the five, Iñigo Iruin, announced this Saturday in San Sebastián that they will present a claim for compensation to the State for “judicial error.”
The lawyer has pointed out that the Organic Law of the Judiciary establishes that in the case of the “judicial error” there is no need for another sentence that recognizes that error because yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling already does so in a “tacit” way, for which they will claim the “patrimonial responsibility of the State” and the corresponding compensation, for which they have a term of one year.
Iruin explained that the judgments of the Strasbourg Court are “legally binding” for the States but “not executive”, so that it is the national courts that must establish how they are applied.
The ruling of the ECHR considered that there was a violation of Otegi’s rights when he was tried by a “non-impartial” court and now the Supreme Court has declared the “total nullity” of the process in the National Court and the TS itself, which includes the other four convicted. “They should not have been convicted in any case,” he said.
Arnaldo Otegi has considered “curious” that the Supreme Court’s ruling occurs “fifteen days after” the Basque elections were held, in which he could not be a candidate. “Surely they have had to lengthen the deliberations to write a folio” of sentence that applied the decision of two years ago of the Court of Strasbourg, he has ironized.
The abertzale leader has opined that this case was a “state operation, devised by the state apparatus with a PSOE government”, which sought “to prevent the abertzale left from changing its strategy” by abandoning the armed struggle, “dividing” the abertzale left, imprisoning those who considered their “most important assets” and “destroy the project of the independence left.”
He recalled that ten years ago the abertzale left was outlawed and now EH Bildu “is the first municipalist force” in Euskadi and Navarra and has “homogeneous growth in the seven territories” (which includes the French Basque Country).
“The reading is very simple, today they are weaker and the independence left is stronger, it has been a legal and political victory,” he maintained.
Otegi has said that the five have “paid a very hard price” but are “very satisfied”. “We did what we had to do, it was the price that had to be paid,” he added at the press conference, which was accompanied by Rafa Díez and Miren Zabaleta.
The coordinator of EH Bildu has demanded that the State “defend the unity of Spain with democratic arguments and not with violence” and that it recognize that “torture is a structural strategy” and that “evidence is being built to imprison”.
At the origin of the appeal of the condemned to the ECHR is the answer given by this magistrate, Angela Murillo, when Otegi, in view of a previous case, did not want to answer if he condemned the violence: “I already knew that he was not going to answer me to that question. ” To which Otegi replied: “I also knew that I was going to ask it.”
The National Court then sentenced Otegi to two years in prison for exalting terrorism. He appealed to Murillo’s bias and the Supreme Court agreed with him. Another courtroom acquitted him in the repetition of the trial.
Two months later, at Bateragune’s trial, the challenge against Murillo was repeated, but this time without success.
For Strasbourg, accepting the judge’s first challenge for partiality against Otegi in one case and rejecting it in a different procedure against him only a few months later violated the European Convention on Human Rights.
(c) EFE Agency