Spain has been forced to release nine more ETA prisoners including one involved in the Basque terrorists’ deadliest -ever attack and who was sentenced to over 1000 years in jail for his role in the deaths of 21 people.
The releases were triggered by a European Court of Human Rights ruling that the prolonged detention of some ETA prisoners was illegal. This has already led to two members being freed; one of whom, Ines del Rio Prada, was sentenced to nearly 4000 years for 24 murders.
The European Court ruling has angered many families of victims of ETA attacks. However some believe it is a price that must be paid for ongoing peace talks with ETA, which has around 600 members in jail around Spain.
Negotiations between ETA and the government have stalled recently on the long-held desire of ETA to see its jailed members go to prisons nearer their families, something Madrid is refusing until the organisation gives up its weapons.