Belfast Telegraph

Basque killer Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos loses appeal bid

A fugitive Basque killer has lost his appeal against being extradited from Northern Ireland to face a new terrorism charge in Spain.

High Court judges dismissed arguments that an invalid European Arrest Warrant was issued against Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos.

Claims that it would be unjust or oppressive to surrender him to the Spanish authorities due to his mental state were also rejected.

Nothing has been heard from the 56-year-old since the Recorder for Belfast granted the extradition in March 2010.

De Juana, who was jailed for his part in an ETA campaign of 25 murders, had been bailed to live with his wife in the west of the city while fighting the proceedings.

But within weeks he breached his release conditions and is believed to have fled Northern Ireland. Despite the mystery over his current whereabouts, lawyers acting for him pressed ahead with their appeal.

Mr Justice McCloskey, sitting with Lord Chief Justice Morgan and Lord Justice Higgins, held that he was entitled to have the merits of his appeal considered in his absence.

De Juana is wanted over the contents of a letter read out in his name at a rally in San Sebastian in August 2008 which allegedly called for the armed struggle to continue.

Judges ruled that while the European Arrest Warrant was “unquestionably imperfect”, it was nevertheless valid.

Belfast Telegraph

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