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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ex-Officer Jailed in ETA Case

MADRID -- A long-simmering investigation into death squads that hunted down Basque separatists took a potentially explosive turn Tuesday as a high court judge jailed a second former police official and ordered a manhunt for another who failed to answer a summons for questioning about the attacks.


Judge Baltazar Garzon also continued questioning former Interior Ministry and police officials at Madrid's national court Tuesday, which suggested that new evidence has come light to implicate them in the series of kidnappings and killings carried out in the early 1980s by the shadowy Anti-terrorism Liberation Groups, or GAL.


The group claimed responsibility for the murders in France of 23 people allegedly connected with ETA, the armed Basque separatist group that has killed 743 people since beginning its campaign for the independence of Spain's three Basque provinces in 1968.


Garzon questioned Julian Sancristobal, a former national security chief, for several hours Monday. He was then jailed without bail pending further investigation. Sancristobal, 42, is charged with attempted murder, unlawful arrest and misuse of public funds in connection with the 10-day kidnapping of a Spanish Basque businessman in 1983.


Former Bilbao investigator Miguel Planchuelo entered prison Tuesday on similar charges, and Garzon ordered the arrest of Francisco Alvarez, former head of the national anti-terrorism unit and the only one of five former officials sought who did not respond to summons.