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Accused man in 'police killer gang'

A Spanish national accused of plotting to kill his country's king is also alleged to have been part of a gang which killed a police officer, his arrest warrant has disclosed.

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui, also known as Cyril Macq, was arrested at his home in Cambridge earlier this month as a suspected member of separatist group ETA.

Neighbours described the 44-year-old computer programmer, who was a member of the local squash club, as a friendly, family man. He is said to have lived a quiet life with his partner and two children.

However, documents from the Adminsitracion De Justicia in Spain have shown the full extent of his alleged crimes. The warrant says that during a botched grenade attack on King Juan Carlos II in Bilbao in 1997, a police officer was killed near the Guggenheim Museum.

Anti-tank grenade launchers hidden in window boxes had been transported to the museum and one was hidden in the surrounding gardens.

The warrant, translated from Spanish, adds: "Before they managed to place the other two window boxes, they were asked by members of the autonomous police to identify themselves and justify their stay. In this instant, they used the pistols that they were carrying, killing the member of the (police).

"Eneko Gogeaskoetxea managed to flee, forcing (the drivers of two cars by) intimidating them with the pistol he was carrying."

When police raided a farmhouse in Olagorta in the town of Viscaya, near San Sebastian in the Basque region of northern Spain, they found anti-personnel grenades. The stash included other grenades and batteries, timers and starting systems for grenades.

Police also found phials of mercury, gunpowder, detonators, two anti-tank grenades, five cylinders containing a kilo of explosives each and a further 10 anti-tank and two anti-personnel grenades, the warrant says.

Arronategui faces charges of attempting to assassinate the king, terrorism resulting in death, keeping weapons and explosives, being part of an armed gang and theft of vehicles. He will next appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court via video link on July 25 for an extradition hearing. The Spanish authorities have applied to have him extradited to his homeland but he is fighting the warrant.


From Belfast Telegraph