Basque newspaper editors acquitted

The case against the editors of Egunkaria, the Basque daily newspaper closed down in 2003 by the Spanish government, was dismissed Monday, April 12. Spanish government officials at the time of the closure claimed that the newspaper editors had ties to the Basque separatist movement ETA, an accusation that the editors vehemently denied.

The editors had widespread support from Basques around the world, including many in the United States.

Several members of the staff, which included editor Martxelo Otamendi, were arrested at the time of the closure in February 2003. Some were held for a few days, others were imprisoned for several weeks and finally released in October 2003, according to Egunkaria Libre, a website created to support the newspaper editors.

The judge in the Spanish national court said in a ruling yesterday that there was no evidence of the newspaper’s connection with ETA. At the time it was closed, Egunkaria was the only newspaper being published in Euskera, the Basque language.

For greater in-depth reporting, read the following articles:

The Guardian: Court clears Basque newspaper bosses

EITB: Judge acquits 5 members