In Spain, supporters of the Batasuna party leader Arnaldo Otegi have been holding demonstrations in the Basque country, calling for his release from prison. The head of the outlawed political group was sent to jail yesterday, accused of having links to the armed separatist group ETA. Otegi’s family is said to be trying to raise the 400,000 euros posted for bail, and Batasuna said it would start collecting public donations today.
The decision to put Otegi behind bars came less than a fortnight after the government offered ETA peace talks if it lays down its arms. Otegi, who has previously spent four years in jail for kidnapping, has not yet been charged over the accusations of being linked to ETA. Just hours before the High Court in Madrid ruled that Otegi should be taken into custody, there was a car bomb attack in the capital. Five people were treated in hospital and 45 were slightly injured.