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Top prosecutor warns ETA could return to violence

Terrorist group still expecting to impose conditions in exchange for ceasefire, says Attorney General’s Office

The public prosecutor’s office on Tuesday said it believes that ETA could go back on its peace commitment if the Basque terrorists do not achieve many of their objectives, which include an amnesty and the release of inmates being held in prisons.

In its written annual report, the Attorney General’s Office says that ETA has not made any movement toward disbanding and warns that the group intends to position a leading figure as “an effective de facto advisor during the process of negotiating a permanent disbandment as an ultimate blackmail weapon.”

“It is possible that if future events unfold contrary to ETA’s plans and its strategic objectives are perceived as unattainable, its leadership could change its current course and return to its former position,” the top prosecutor wrote in a chapter dedicated to the fight against terrorism.

On October 20, 2011, ETA announced a definitive end to the use of violence and said it was willing to begin negotiations for a peace process. As part of its conditions, ETA members have said they want to discuss the possibility of a government amnesty for some inmates as well as the transfer of others to Basque prisons. The Popular Party (PP) government, which came to power last December, says it has not engaged in any talks with the group.

According to the attorney general, the possibility of ETA returning to its strategy of “violence and terror” has increased considerably as the Basque organization continues to attach conditions to any eventual negotiations, including discussions for the incorporation of Navarre into the Basque Country and a process of self-determination.

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