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High Court confirms release of ailing ETA prisoner

Appeal from state prosecutor against decision to release Iosu Uribetxeberria Bolinaga rejected

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Supporters of ETA prisoner Iosu Uribetxebarria protest outside the Hospital Donostia on Wednesday. EFE

The High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by the state prosecutor against an earlier decision to release ETA prisoner Iosu Uribetxeberria Bolinaga, who has terminal cancer.

The panel of five judges at the first penal section of the High Court voted four to one in favor of the early release of Bolinaga on humanitarian grounds, before his jail term for the kidnapping of a prison director was up.

The court’s ruling was last night conveyed to the hospital where Bolinaga was being treated. At press time, he was free to leave but the hospital decided it was best that he remained there for further treatment.

The prosecutor appealed the court’s decision based on a forensic report that argued that the worsening in Bolinaga’s condition was temporary. A number of prominent members of the ruling Popular Party oppose his release.