Eta suspect Fuentes Villota can be extradited to Spain

Raul Fuentes Villota Fuentes was arrested after 17 years on the run

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An alleged member of the Basque separatist group Eta can be sent to Spain to face terrorism charges, a UK court has ruled.

Raul Angel Fuentes Villota, 46, was arrested in Liverpool last year, having been on the run for 17 years.

He skipped bail in Spain in 1995 while facing charges of attempting to bomb a police officer's car in 1991.

A district judge in London said he would let Spanish courts decide whether his evidence was obtained by torture.

Sitting at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Judge Nicholas Evans said Spain was a "trusted extradition partner".

Raul Fuentes Villota told a hearing last month that he was tortured while being held by Spanish police in 1991, including having pencils placed between his fingers and squeezed to inflict pain on his hands.

Judge Evans said: "I'm persuaded by such evidence that I have heard that it is more likely than not the requested person (Fuentes Villota) suffered the pencil treatment.

But he added: "I'm not persuaded he was tortured."

The suspect is wanted in Spain to face allegations of membership of a terrorist organisation (Eta), an attack in conjunction with attempted murder, possession of guns and possession of explosives.

It is not clear how long he had been living in the UK.

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