• March 26, 2010

Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos who is currently living with his wife in Belfast is to appeal a ruling that he should be extradited from Northern Ireland to Spain.

The Basque has already served over 21 years in jail on charges related to his alleged membership of ETA the militant Basque separatist movement. He was eventually released from prison but now Spanish authorities have sought his extradition to Spain to face new charges that he has `glorified terrorism’.

The charges he would face relate to the contents of a letter read out at a rally in San Sebastian the day after his release from jail. The message was allegedly given in his name, with the charge against him heavily dependent on the Basque phrase “aurrera bolie”, which translates literally as “kick the ball forward”.

Lawyers for de Juana Chaos argued initially that he would not receive a fair trial but the British Judge in a Belfast court rejected this argument. Now his lawyers are to argue the 54 year old could face death if returned because of his fragile mental health.

Basque prisoners, including members of ETA have frequently been subjected to ill-treatment in Spanish prisons which has been documented by International rights organisations.

The latest United States Human Rights report (for 2009) continues to document abuses committed by both police and prison staff in Spain against detainees including allegations of ill-treatment and torture of two members of ETA

The Appeal court hearing has been set down for June.

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