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Prosecutor's Office rejects expanding the investigation of the 'ongi etorri' because the new Telegram chats are not criminal

He accuses DyJ of trying to carry out "a kind of general inquisition" against everything related to the group of ETA prisoners.

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Prosecutor's Office rejects expanding the investigation of the 'ongi etorri' because the new Telegram chats are not criminal

He accuses DyJ of trying to carry out "a kind of general inquisition" against everything related to the group of ETA prisoners

MADRID, 5 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The prosecutor of the National Court in charge of the investigation of 'ongi etorris' - acts of homage - to ETA prisoners has appealed the decision of magistrate Manuel García Castellón to extend the instruction to expand the investigation to chats allegedly managed by Sortu in which guidelines and instructions would be given on issues related to prisoners and escapees because no crime was found in them and they were unrelated to the investigation.

In eleven pages, to which Europa Press has had access, prosecutor Carlos García Berro indicates to the Criminal Chamber that the judge's decision "is far from being in accordance with the law" and recalls that the magistrate himself already in October 2023 considered "the instruction completed."

Given that the extension decision was adopted by the judge in January following a letter from Dignity and Justice (DyJ), the prosecutor focuses on the arguments of the victims' association and explains that the facts he mentions are " completely unrelated to the investigation" and that only refers as the only investigation procedure that remained to be carried out "to the issuance of a court order to the Telegram company to report on the ownership of channels as well as the identification of their administrators."

The Public Ministry accuses DyJ of attempting to carry out "a kind of general inquisition against anyone related to the group of prisoners of the defunct terrorist group ETA, without any criminal appearance in the conduct that is exposed."

It is worth remembering that García Berro asked the judge to agree to the prosecution of ETA members Antón López Ruiz, alias 'Kubati', Carlos Sáez de Eguilaz and Felipe San Epifanio, 'Pipe', that of the Sortu leaders Haimar Altuna and Oihana Garmendia, as well as like 'Kalera Kalera' member Oihana San Vicente.

The victims' association, however, asked the magistrate to reverse his decision to close the investigation and continue with it, considering it a premature decision. The magistrate, who agrees on this point, points out that a series of clues emerge from the analysis of the computer devices of Eguilaz and San Epifanio.

In one of the chats managed by Sortu, Eguilaz would receive, according to the judge, "abundant information about events and mobilizations and messages about the release of prisoners from the terrorist organization ETA, which were later disseminated by organizations such as Etxerat or the magazine Kalera. info".

"In said channel, guidelines and instructions are published regarding activity in certain areas, and the subsequent application of said guidelines by Sortu's media," the magistrate maintained. The judge also focused on a Telegram channel, which would be managed by the Sare citizen network.

The prosecutor, who fights this expansion of the investigation, defends that "in no case can the practice" of new procedures be agreed because they have been requested after the deadline, he emphasizes that what is being investigated are those acts of homage to ETA members upon their return or for his death, and establishes that what has been investigated is a "criminal organization of a non-terrorist nature (...) whose objective is the commission of acts constituting a continuous crime of humiliation of the victims of terrorism and glorification of those who have participated in terrorist acts".

He clarifies that "if the crime of glorifying terrorism has been ruled out, there would be a crime of glorifying the terrorist and humiliating the victims (...), figures closer to the hate crime" so there would be "a case of absence of potential for generate a real risk given the absence of ETA terrorism due to the dissolution of the band".

Once his position has been established on what he considers the investigation should cover, the prosecutor analyzes the Telegram chats and the use of them by the investigated Sáez de Eguilaz.

He highlights that for one of them called 'sortu - herritmoa bizitu', of which the instructor considers it necessary to know the identity of the administrators, there is already a report from the Civil Guard that clarifies that it is administered by Sortu and that "the information sought is perfectly useless "because the news of releases "flowed through very different channels."

He also highlights, contrary to García Castellón's criteria, that in that chat "neither guidelines and instructions are given nor the activity carried out in said social media medium constitutes criminal activity of any kind", which is why he points out that in the case of being investigated would be "involving prospective research."

Remember that these Telegram channels are one-way and therefore do not allow interactions with subscribers, so the fact that a subscriber receives a message does not presuppose any interaction. And he indicates that this is the case of Sáez de Eguiluz who in September 2020 received a message that said 'Basque prisoner Rufino Arriaga, native of Ordizia, free after 23 years in prison.'

"Where do you want to see here the issuance of a directive or an instruction? What apparently criminal activity do you want to see in this publication? What connection do you want to see in an open publication with the criminal organization that is the object of the accusation? "asks the prosecutor.

After this, he explains that on Sare's Telegram channel there is also "no indication of criminality nor is it possible to sense what relationship there could be, beyond mere voluntarism, with the criminal organization that is the object of the accusation."

Regarding the messages on the channel to which San Epifanio, another of those investigated, was subscribed, and specifically that of 'BarneKorm' - Sortu's "Internal Committee" - regarding the arrest of 'Josu Ternera', the prosecutor recalls that The object of the case is the criminal organization Kalera Kalera, aimed at the 'ongi etorris' organization, that is, the acts of homage to the prisoners of the terrorist group ETA when they leave prison, but not when they enter.

The prosecutor uses the same argument for messages related to other arrests and insists that "there may be instructions and guidelines, but aimed at concentrations totally unrelated to the ongi etorris."

After this, the prosecutor attacks Dignity and Justice's request that statements be taken as defendants from the EH Bildu parliamentarian Julen Arzuaga, the former Basque Minister of Justice Joseba Azcárraga, the ETA member Jorge García Sertucha and the lawyer Txema Matanzas because they are requested on the basis to a report that has been linked to the proceedings for nearly two years. "More than a question related to the time of study of what is instructed, it seems a question related to matching the instruction to the times," he laments.

Finally, regarding the block of messages that would include communications from some of them with those responsible for the General Directorate of Penitentiary Institutions, the prosecutor recalls that Dignity and Justice does not explain what crimes could be found" in them.

"There is no hint of prevarication, that is, of the issuance of arbitrary resolutions conscious of their injustice, since all the issues related to penitentiary policy to which reference is made (progressions in grade, permits, releases, etc.) ) are subject to the control of the Central Penitentiary Surveillance Court with the intervention of the Public Prosecutor's Office," he adds.

Thus, he rules out prevarication and also the revelation of secrets "since there is no secret to reveal."