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ETA members dispute authority of Spanish court in mass terror trial

[JURIST] During a hearing in a high-security Madrid court Tuesday, defendants in the largest trial of accused members of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) [BBC backgrounder] refused to answer any questions regarding their alleged crimes or their involvement in the pro-Basque organization. All 56 individuals accused of ties to ETA [JURIST report] asserted that the Spanish government's prosecution violated their civil rights. ETA, which has consistently demanded an independent Basque nation, has been implicated in more than 800 killings since 1968. The Spanish government considers the group a terrorist organization. Some observers believe, however, that the group is hoping for a political truce with the Spanish government after recent arrests of several of its top leaders. If convicted, the defendants in the present trial face sentences ranging from 10 to 51 years. Expatica has more.

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