Scotland

'Eta fugitive' Ordonez 'will now not' oppose extradition

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordonez Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Ordonez has fought a five month court battle to avoid being extradited

A man alleged to be a member of the Basque separatist group Eta has indicated he will not oppose returning to France.

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordonez, 36, has previously fought a five-month court battle to avoid being extradited to France and Spain.

Both countries had issued arrest warrants.

Mr Ordonez, who has lived in the UK since 2001, denies being a terrorist. He was arrested in Leith in July 2012.

Spain want him to stand trial over allegations was involved in moving materials, weaponry and men from France to Spain for the purposes of terrorism and gathering information about politicians and police.

A court in France sentenced him to five years imprisonment in his absence in 2008 on charges of criminal conspiracy, carrying out acts of terrorism and recruiting and training members for Eta.

Own name

At an Extradition Hearing in Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday, Mr Ordonez' defence counsel, Mungo Bovey QC, told Sheriff Alistair Noble: "My motion this morning is for your Lordship to adjourn this hearing to a hearing on 7 January next year. If that is the case, Mr Ordonez will offer no opposition to the French warrant".

Fiscal Depute, Ruth Lunny, said there was no opposition from the Crown to the defence motion and the notional hearing would clarify matters.

Sheriff Noble agreed to the January hearing.

Ordonez was arrested at his rented flat in Sloan Street, Leith, in July this year. He came to this country, under his own name, in 2001.

Working as a driver for a wine importing company, he had two children by a former partner, now has a new partner, and had never come to the attention of the authorities here.

At a previous hearing of the case, the French authorities indicated if Ordonez returned voluntarily they would offer a new trial.

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