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DATE=7/15/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-235501 TITLE=SPAIN / ETA NEWSPAPER (L-ONLY) BYLINE=GIL CARBAJAL DATELINE=MADRID CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: SPANISH POLICE WEDNESDAY RAIDED AND SHUT DOWN THE OFFICES OF A NEWSPAPER WHICH IS SYMPATHETIC TO THE VIOLENT BASQUE SEPARATIST GROUP "ETA." GIL CARBAJAL REPORTS FROM MADRID, THE ACTION WAS TAKEN BY COURT ORDER AFTER EVIDENCE SHOWED CLOSE LINKS BETWEEN BETWEEN THE NEWSPAPER AND ETA. TEXT: IN PRE-DAWN RAIDS, SOME 350 SPANISH POLICE ARRESTED 11 PERSONS AND SEALED-OFF THE OFFICES OF THE PRO-BASQUE INDEPENDENCE NEWSPAPER CALLED "EGIN," ALONG WITH ITS SISTER RADIO STATION "EGIN IRRATIA," AND THEIR PARENT COMPANY, "URAIN." EGIN, WHICH HAS A CIRCULATION OF 50-THOUSAND COPIES, REGULARLY REPORTS ETA COMMUNIQUES AND ITS CLAIMS OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR TERRORIST MURDERS AND KIDNAPPINGS. //OPT// THE OPERATION WAS CARRIED OUT IN THE TOWNS OF HERNANI, BILBAO AND VITORIA IN THE BASQUE REGION AND PAMPLONA IN NAVARRE. //END OPT// AMONG THOSE ARRESTED ARE A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF "HERRI-BATASUNA" -- ETA'S POLITICAL WING -- AND THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE UMBRELLA GROUP OF PRO-INDEPENDENCE ORGANIZATIONS KNOWN AS "KAS." ALTHOUGH THE IDEOLOGICAL LINKS BETWEEN ETA, HERRI-BATASUNA AND EGIN ARE WELL ESTABLISHED, AUTHORITIES UNTIL NOW HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME UP WITH HARD EVIDENCE OF STRUCTURAL AND ECONOMIC TIES. IN A NEWS CONFERENCE EXPLAINING THE OPERATION, SPANISH INTERIOR MINISTER, JAIME MAYOR OREJA, SAID THAT THE RAID WAS CARRIED OUT ON THE BASIS OF PROOF OF STRUCTURAL CONNECTIONS, STABLE AND PERMANENT CONTACTS, AND A RELATIONSHIP OF SUBORDINATION OF THE NEWSPAPERS AND ITS PARENT COMPANY TO ETA. THE MINISTER ADDED THAT WHILE OTHER POLICE OPERATIONS HAD DISMANTLED TERRORIST COMMANDOS, WHICH HE LIKENED TO LIMBS (ARMS AND LEGS), THIS TIME HE SAID THEY HAD STRUCK AT ETA'S VERY HEART. ALTHOUGH EGIN'S OFFICES HAVE BEEN RAIDED BEFORE, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN ITS 22-YEAR HISTORY THAT ITS OFFICES HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN. THE PROVISIONAL CLOSURE WAS ORDERED BY SPANISH HIGH COURT JUDGE BALTASAR GARZON, WHO HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING ETA'S FINANCIAL NETWORK. //REST OPT// WEDNESDAY'S OPERATION FOLLOWS EARLIER RAIDS AND ARRESTS IN LATE MAY CARRIED OUT UNDER HIS SUPERVISION. AT THAT TIME, 11 PERSONS WERE ARRESTED IN AND AROUND BILBAO. DOCUMENTS CONFISCATED REVEALED THAT THEY LAUNDERED MONEY AND FINANCED ETA MEMBERS HIDING OUT IN LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES. (SIGNED) NEB/GC/PCF/JO 15-Jul-98 12:52 PM EDT (1652 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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