New twist in ETA killer's extradition fight

Lawyers for an ETA killer battling extradition from the North want to take guidance from a senior member of the United Nations, a court heard today.

Inaki de Juana Chaos, 53, is sought by the Spanish authorities on a charge of "glorifying terrorism". He appeared at Belfast Recorder's Court today.

Professor Martin Schenin, from the UN, dealt with the impact of his isolation during 18 years of his previous spell behind bars in Spain.

Defence barrister Stephen Ritchie said: "He dealt with specifically this particular applicant and dealt with the impact of that isolation and being held incommunicado as De Juana Chaos was for some 18 years of the 21 years of his previous incarceration."

De Juana Chaos, from Iris Street in Belfast, was not present for the brief hearing.

De Juana Chaos was released from prison in Spain last August after a 3,000-year sentence imposed in the mid-1980s for his part in the killing of 25 people, all but one serving Spanish soldiers or police.

His lawyer said Prof Schenin, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, was presently on a UN mission which had not been disclosed to him.

Recorder Tom Burgess said: “That isn’t satisfactory for the purposes of this court.”

He added: “It would have to be made clear that the timescale I am working on is weeks not months.”

There will be a further hearing on May 11 to discuss the matter but it is unclear when the full case will be heard.


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