Suspected Basque terrorist to be extradited to France

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordonez had been living in Leith for about ten years

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordonez had been living in Leith for about ten years

A 36-year-old man suspected of being a Basque terrorist is to be extradited to France within the next 10 days.

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordonez, alleged to have been a member of ETA, had been living in Leith for over 10 years before he was taken into custody after France and Spain issued European Arrest Warrants last yea.

Ordonez was arrested by Lothian & Borders Police at his home in Sloan Street in July 2012 and has been in custody since, while fighting the extradition requests.

At a hearing in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in December, defence counsel, Mungo Bovey QC told Sheriff Alastair Noble that his client would not oppose his return to France where Ordonez was sentenced to five years imprisonment, in his absence, in 2008 on charges of criminal conspiracy, carrying out acts of terrorism and recruiting members for ETA.

The French authorities, however, had indicated that if he returned he could apply for a retrial.

The Spanish warrant accused Ordonez of being a member of ETA, moving materials and men from France to Spain and gathering information on politicians and police officers.

On January 7, Sheriff Noble granted the French warrant, but the case was continued until today to find out if The Crown were continuing proceedings in regard to the Spanish warrant.

Fiscal depute, Ruth Lunny, told Sheriff Noble there would be no motion to continue with the Spanish request following instructions from the authorities there and that Ordonez would be surrendered to France within the next 10 days.


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