[JURIST] A Spanish prosecutor on Tuesday filed an anticipated request [JURIST report] before the Supreme Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] to ban two Basque political parties for alleged ties to ETA [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the armed Basque separatist movement. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega [official profile, in Spanish] has said the government has evidence that both the Basque Nationalist Action Party (ANV) [party website] and the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (PCTV) [Wikipedia backgrounder] have close ties to Batasuna [BBC backgrounder], ETA's banned political arm. The government wants to prevent the parties from fielding candidates for a general election scheduled for March, and prosecutors are expected to file a formal demand to the court in the coming days.
The Supreme Court of Spain banned Batasuna in 2003 for its refusal to cut ties with ETA. ETA has been blamed for more than 800 deaths in bombings and attacks since the 1960s. AFP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.