2 June 2005 Edition

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Adams slams Otegi arrest

Gerry Adams MP last week spoke out against the jailing of Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi and said that is would only serve to set back efforts to establish a peace process.

"The policy of criminalisation and exclusion pursued by successive Spanish Governments has been a failure and should be ended," said the Sinn Féin leader. "It is our view that a real opportunity exists to make progress and last week's vote in the Spanish Parliament, and the outcome of the recent elections in the Basque country, are further evidence of that. This opportunity should be grasped."

In a statement issued after the arrest. Batasuna's National Committee said that jailing their spokesman, was a 'very serious' incident. They regarded the decision taken by the Spanish National Criminal Court as an attack not only on Batasuna, but also on the aspiration and determination to resolve the conflict democratically, and bring peace to the Basque Country.

Otegi was subsequently released on a large bail.


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