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Ghent chef to face Spanish justice for 39-year-old ETA killing

Belgium has surrendered a Basque woman to the Spanish authorities.  The woman is a chef, who has been living in Belgium since 2003.  The former member of the Basque separatist movement ETA is suspected of killing a colonel in the Spanish land army.

Maria Natividad Jauregui Espina, escorted by Spanish police officers, arrived in Spain on Sunday.  She’s been living in Ghent for many years where she worked as a chef.  She was arrested In 2013 on the basis of a warrant issued by the Spanish authorities in 2004.  The Spanish authorities wanted to prosecute her for the murder of Lieutenant colonel Ramon Romeo, who was killed in Bilbao in 1981 by a commando suspected of being part of ETA.

Jauregui Espina is thought to have joined ETA in 1978 and is suspected of being a member of the Vizcaya commando that was held responsible for the colonel’s killing 39 years ago.

Last Tuesday Belgium’s court of cassation ordered her surrender to Spain.  Earlier, on two separate occasions, Belgian judges refused her surrender. Jauregui Espina maintains her innocence and insists no evidence against her exists.  She and her supporters fear that she will not get a fair trail at the hands of the Spanish judicial system.

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