[JURIST] A Spanish judge on Tuesday charged Jurdan Martitegi Lizaso [El Pais backgrounder, in Spanish], the alleged leader of the Basque separatist group ETA [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] with murder for allegedly executing a car bomb in May 2008 that killed a Spanish policeman. Three other ETA members were also charged [AFP report] in connection with the incident. Martitegi and three others were arrested [JURIST report] last Saturday in France. Six other ETA members were also detained in Spain last weekend for their alleged roles in the car bombing.
In February, Spain's Supreme Court [official website, in Spanish] unanimously banned [JURIST report] the Basque separatist political groups Democracy 3 Million (D3M) and Askatasuna [orders, PDF, in Spanish] from participation in the coming March elections. In January, a Spanish court dismissed the case against Basque Regional Prime Minister Juan José Ibarretxe [official profile]. He and the two leaders of the Basque socialist party were charged [JURIST report] with illegally communicating with the banned Batasuna party [BBC backgrounder], the political wing of the ETA. In November, French authorities arrested [JURIST report] alleged former ETA leader Mikel Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina [BBC backgrounder] near the country's border with Spain. In September, the court banned [JURIST report] the Basque Nationalist Action Party (ANV) from taking part in political activities because of its alleged ties to Batasuna.