“lodged on his behalf by a Northern Irish law firm..”

When the Spanish authorities sought the Republic of Ireland’s government’s help in locating Inaki de Juana Chaos in September – last known address the Dublin home of Colombia fugitive James Monaghan – some reports suggested he was in hiding in Northern Ireland “with sympathisers in the republican movement”. Today, after he failed to appear at a National Criminal Court hearing in Spain, the Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant for de Juana Chaos. And the RTÉ report includes this intriguing detail.

The warrant was issued after Inaki de Juana Chaos, who was released from prison in August and is known to have been visiting Ireland, failed to appear in court to testify in a case brought against him for praising terrorism.

The high court judge decided to ignore a request lodged on his behalf by a Northern Irish law firm asking for his court appearance to be postponed.

Update From the Guardian’s report

Kevin R Winters, a Belfast solicitor, reportedly wrote on Friday to Interpol on De Juana Chaos’s behalf saying he had no intention of appearing before the Spanish court yesterday morning.

The former terrorist, who had a passport request denied by the Spanish embassy in Dublin two months ago, reportedly said he was prepared to give evidence by videolink. Winters did not return calls from The Guardian yesterday.

Update In the comments zone picador informs us that this report says de Juana Chaos will appear at Laganside Recorder’s Court at 9.30am on Monday morning.

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  • Ri Na Deise

    Mr Chaos.

    What a name.:-D

  • picador

    The Spanish case against this man is absolutely ludicrous. In fact it goes to show how repressive the situation in Euskadi (the Basque Country) really is.

    While in prison for a very long period of time for committing various acts of ‘terrorism’ a long time ago the amusingly named Mr Chaos is alleged to have written a letter in which he said something to the effect that one of his former comrades in ETA was a jolly good chap indeed. This letter was subsequently read out publicly at a ETA commemoration in the Basque country. Under Spanish law saying that a member of ETA is a jolly good fellow at a public meeting constitutes ‘glorification of terrorism’ and is punishable by a prison sentence.

    Nearing the end of a twenty year stretch in prison Mr Chaos learned that he was going to be banged up for a few years more for allegedly writing this letter so he went on hunger strike, securing his release only when he was nearing death. Mr Chaos did some very bad things for the ETA cause but he spent a very long time in jail and almost died on hunger strike. He has suffered alot for his actions.

    The Spanish authorities cannot even prove that he is the author of the letter saying that Txomin (dead ETA leader) was a jolly good comrade. Why do they still persecute this man?

  • George

    The way I see it Mr Inaki de Juana Chaos can easily avoid this extradition because of the dual criminality aspect of this European Arrest Warrant, as long as he is in the Irish Republic.

    As far as I know there is no crime in Ireland of praising terrorism so this could very well fall under the dual criminality section.

    The dual criminality requirement under the 2003 European Arrest Warrant Act is only waived for
    terrorism not praise of terrorism. Unless praise of terrorism constitutes a terrorist offence.

    Also, even if it was held to constitute a terrorist offence, in order to qualify under the 2003 Act the terrorism charge in the other EU state must be serious enough to carry at least a three-year prison sentence.

    The maximum sentence for praising terrorism in Spain is two years.

    I don’t know what the situation is in the UK regarding the EAW and dual criminality and praising terrorism.

  • picador

    De Juana Chaos has done 21 years in jail. He was due for release after 18 but just before he got out he was banged up for a further 12 (reduced to 3 on appeal) for supposedly making ‘threats’ in a letter he wrote to a Basque newspaper.

    This guy has been on hunger strike so many times that his health must have been severely affected. It is no wonder he refuses to go back there. They are intent on hounding him to the grave.

    The Guardia Civil cannot prove he wrote the letter in which it is said that he called Txomin (fellow etarra) ‘a good man’ and wrote ‘forward the ball’ (allegedly a euphemism for ‘continue the armed struggle’).

    The fascists will never allow him to live in peace after he killed so many members of the Guardia Civil (he was captured in 1986).

  • Pete Baker

    picador

    “after he killed so many members of the Guardia Civil”

    Presumably those are the “very bad things” you referred to – the “various acts of ‘terrorism’”.

    But you seem to miss the point.

    If de Juana Chaos is being hidden and protected by sympathisers in Northern Ireland [or even in the Republic of Ireland], then why don’t they come out and argue their case against the apparently unjust Spanish judicial system?

    Or are they constrained by their simultaneous support for the NI judicial system?

  • picador

    I’m not quite sure what your point is.

    If Mr de Juana Chaos is detained on the foot of this warrant then I suppose he will seek to avoid extradition to Spain. I suppose he will make his own case in conjunction with his legal representatives.

    I think any attempt by the Spanish authorities to pursue this will ultimately fail and will have the added affect of putting in the spotlight the oppressive policies and laws they are enacting in the Basque country.

  • William

    I wonder why so many of those posting on Slugger are supporters of terrorists, be it the Irish or their friends the Spanish variety?

    It is always the ‘state’ that is the oppressor, not the terrorist who plants bombs under cars, blows up buildings or shots a policeman or government official in the back of the head.

    The World [not to mention Northern Ireland / Spain] will never be at peace when we have bloodthirsty junkies supporting terrorists and spewing forth that support on blogs such as this one.

  • Ri Na Deise

    William

    They are Basque people not Spanish…

  • Harry Flashman

    OK I asked this before in another thread and as we appear to have a couple of sympathisers here perhaps they can help me out. Spain is one country, the Spanish people want their nation to be united but up in the north east corner of Spain there is a group of people who steadfastly refuse to accept their Spanishness and who do not wish to be ruled by Madrid.

    So why do Irish Republicans who have precisely the same territorial problem in their own nation not support the United Spain people against the deluded people of the north east corner of their nation who refuse to accept they are Spanish?

    If the Basques aren’t Spanish then can we accept the Ulster Unionists aren’t Irish?

  • Glencoppagagh

    It looks as if you’ve scored the winner there Harry unless Picador et al aren’t out of bed yet.

  • George

    Harry,
    “can we accept Ulster Unionists aren’t Irish.”

    Make up your minds lads. One minute unioinists are saying they’re Irish and want “parity of esteem” in Irish culture, next minute they’re not. Well which is it Harry?

    I’d be quite happy to go with the “unionists aren’t Irish” if they would just stick to that position. But even Ian Paisley says he’s Irish when it suits him.

  • Reader

    George: One minute unioinists are saying they’re Irish and want “parity of esteem” in Irish culture, next minute they’re not.
    It depends on whether we are working with an inclusive or exclusive definition of the term Irish – that is, it depends on context. Some unionists have bought into the exclusive nationalist definition of the term, and will always deny being Irish.
    If it really confuses you, then try to identify a definition of ‘Irish’ that is always applicable, and can be used by everyone. Tricky, isn’t it!

  • ggn

    I personally have no problem saying that northern Unionists are not Irish as most unionists that I not have told me they are not.

    It is up to unionists to define themselves, not for nationalists to define them.

  • picador

    For the record, I am not an apologist for the activities of ETA nor do I have a dog in the Basque – Spanish fight.

    I am merely highlighting the vindictive legal persecution to which the Spanish authorities are subjecting a Basque prisoner who has already served twenty-one years in far flung outposts of the Spanish penal system.

    As for Ulster Unionists, try telling the English that they are not Irish!

  • picador

    Sad to see how some want to turn this into a British vs Irish debate. Try broadening your horizons abit. This thread is NOT about unionist identity.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Unlike onionists, the Basque people arent ‘imports’ to their country. They are a people native to the land they inhabit of Celtic origin(its suggested us Gaels are descendants of them). The are as ethnically and culturally distinct and unique from the Spaniards as an Irishman from an Englishman.

    In short the difference between the Basque and unionists? The basque were there first.

  • Harry Flashman

    But you see George A) I’m not a unionist and B) I didn’t ask about what Unionists think, I asked about Republicans.

    Republicans claim vehemently that the Unionists (whatever their origins Ri) are Irish because they live in the country called Ireland. Well the Spanish people claim that the Basques, whatever they themselves might feel, are Spanish and therefore should accept that they live in the nation of Spain and agree to be ruled from Madrid in a united Spain.

    Republicans claim Unionists as Irish, they say with some reason that the Unionists live in the nation of Ireland and should be part of the united nation of Ireland. I have great difficulty therefore in understanding how Republicans cannot grant Spanish people the same privilege and accept that despite whatever the Basques may claim the Basques are Spanish and should simply accept rule from Madrid as part of a united Spain.

    You really can’t have it both ways (to paraphrase George).

  • Paul McMahon

    I’m at work at the minute ‘arry but, as someone who actually lives in the Basque Country, I’ll try to have a go at your question later this evening.

  • Pete Baker

    I’ve updated the original post to include these details from The Guardian’s report.

    Kevin R Winters, a Belfast solicitor, reportedly wrote on Friday to Interpol on De Juana Chaos’s behalf saying he had no intention of appearing before the Spanish court yesterday morning.

    The former terrorist, who had a passport request denied by the Spanish embassy in Dublin two months ago, reportedly said he was prepared to give evidence by videolink. Winters did not return calls from The Guardian yesterday.

  • Neil

    Harry,

    a better comparison would be British and Spanish. The British wanted to join up England, Scotland, Wales and all of Ireland, through military dominance where the inhabitants didn’t see themselves as being British.

    The Spanish also wish to take over an area of their country where the inhabitants did not see themselves as being Spanish.

    The British and the Spanish are the invaders and agressors. The Irish nationalist and the Basque seperatist are both fighting for what they view as their own nations independence and freedom from the much more powerful agressor.

  • George

    Pete,
    that Guardian article is very confusing.

    Firstly, it says that the Spanish court is investigating. If this is merely an investigation and there is no intention to charge then the suspect can’t be extradited.

    Secondly, at one stage it refers to the Spanish court investigating him over “inciting people to terrorism”.

    Then it says there are demands he be returned “under a Spanish law that bans anyone from making an “apology for terrorism”.”

    There is a big difference.

  • George

    Harry,
    you know some very odd republicans or are you one of those types that refuses to accept that people like Michael McDowell, Michael Noonan etc are republicans. In fact I would say the vast majority of Irish Republicans don’t think way you seem to think they think.

  • Harry Flashman

    George if you know Irish Republicans do not believe that unionists are Irish then I’ve got news for you; they ain’t Irish Republicans, have a read of Padraig Pearse or Wolfe Tone if you are in any doubt about the attitude of Irish Republicans to the unionists.

    Neil I know what the British might think but once again I’m not talking about the British I am talking about Irish Republicans who believe in the integrity of the geographical nation of Ireland whatever a bunch of people in the north east corner of Ireland may or may not believe.

    If Ireland is one nation and the unionists are Irish whether they like it or not (according to Irish Republicans) I can’t for the life of me see how Irish Republicans can deny the same rights to the people of Spain who wish to see their nation retain united sovereignty.

    I say it again, you can’t have it both ways boys, if the Basques are not Spanish and therefore entitled to opt out of a united Spain then the Unionists are not Irish and are therefore entitled to opt out of a united Ireland.

  • Neil

    The Basque people believe in the integrity of the geographic location of the Basque country. The Irish people believe in the integrity of the geographical location that is Ireland.

    The Spanish are like the British, in that they’ve drawn a new map, and said ‘this country that used to be a country in it’s own right, is now part of my country, and I’ll hold it by force’ exactly as the Brits tried to do with the whole of Ireland.

    Just because the Spanish wish to occupy the Basque country, and you have decided not to recognise the Basque country’s legitamacy, doesn’t mean you’re right.

  • Dec

    Well the Spanish people claim that the Basques, whatever they themselves might feel, are Spanish and therefore should accept that they live in the nation of Spain and agree to be ruled from Madrid in a united Spain.

    Well some Spanish, Harry. Catalonian nationalists would have a very different view. Anyway drawing direct comparisons with Spain and Ireland is moronic. As far as I’m aware Basques don’t swear allegiance to France.

    Back to the topic, the best course of action for Inaki de Juana Chaos would be to change his name by deed poll to Augusto Pinochet, therefore compelling the British government to tell the Spanish courts where to stick their international arrest warrant.

  • Harry Flashman

    OK here’s an easy one, there’s another wee bit of “Spain” that the Spanish claim as part of their national territory. The population of this little enclave vehemently refuse to accept that they are part of Spain, they want nothing to do with Spain and believe themselves to be British.

    The Spanish believe that this enclave is part and parcel of their national territory and no amount of flag waving and bellicose rhetoric from the inhabitants of this artificially created statelet will ever change the fact that they are a part of Spain and they are Spanish whether they like it or not.

    So tell me Irish Republicans, is Gibraltar Spanish? Or should they be allowed the right of self determination and be separate from Spain like the Basques?

  • Dec

    So tell me Irish Republicans, is Gibraltar Spanish?

    As British as Hong Kong.

  • Reader

    Ri Na Diese: Unlike onionists, the Basque people arent ‘imports’ to their country.
    How many generations of residence would be required before our opinions start to matter?

  • Harry Flashman

    So then Hong Kong is Chinese, the Six Counties are Irish and the Basque territory is Spanish.

    Glad we got that one sorted out.

  • Reader

    Dec: Back to the topic, the best course of action for Inaki de Juana Chaos would be to change his name by deed poll to Augusto Pinochet, therefore compelling the British government to tell the Spanish courts where to stick their international arrest warrant.
    Even less effort: cross the border again and get his lawyers to look for puncuation errors or an incomplete list of aliases in the documentation.

  • Neil

    Good man Harry, why don’t you ask and answer your own questions and shove words in other people’s mouths. Par for the course.

  • Ri Na Deise

    The Basque country was in existence before Spanish imperialists claimed it.

    Ireland was in existence before British imperialists claimed it.

    Both peoples simply strive for the return of their homeland to its rightful owners.

    Still too hard for ye Harry?

  • Semtexfan

    Or in this case you could have written
    Both peoples murderous bombers simply strive for the return of their homeland to its rightful owners….

  • Dec

    So then Hong Kong is Chinese, the Six Counties are Irish and the Basque territory is Spanish.

    Actually Harry, part of the Basque Country is in France. But I’m sure you knew that.

  • mick cooper

    Harry “Or should they be allowed the right of self determination ”

    Now thats not a bad idea, why didn’t Irish Republicans think of that, well done Harry old chap.

  • cynic

    Surely there is some mistake here.

    And as the Norn Iron Birdwatchers have renounced all violence and ‘gone away you know’, so how then can they be harbouring a fellow twitcher from Spain who has been intimately involved in bird watching activities there?

    We wouldn’t want the almost defunct NI Twitchers Society to be linked in to International Twitching would we. Surely not. It must all be a big mistake. They were never Twitchers at all. The film of them Twitching must be wrong.

    Where’s the Education Minister when you need her? given the political skills she has shown in her new brief she will soon negotiate this one away.

  • Paul McMahon

    Well ‘Arry to try to answer your question the basic two points is culture and political history, [sit back this is going to be a long one].

    First of all the Basque Country, [Euskal Herria in it’s native tongue], is defined as the geographical region where Euskera, [the Basque language], is spoken. Basques, [Euskaldunak], are defined by the language they speak. Historically Euskal Herria consists of seven provinces: Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Araba, Naffaroa and Bei Nafforoa, in what is now called Spain and Lappurde and Zuberoa in what is now called France.

    With me so far? Good.

    Prior to the marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon what is geographically known as Spain was for eons a disparate gathering of distinct nations with distinct languages, cultures, laws and customs. Euskal Herria, Galicia, Castilla, Aragon, Catalunya.

    Euskal Herria, called at that time Arano Beltzik, had it’s capital in what’s now modern day Pamplona and ‘El Rieno de Navarra’ stretched from the Pyrenees in the north to the coast of Bizkaia in the south, the common language being Euskera.

    Isabella and Ferdinand routed the Moors from Granada in 1492 and ensured that the hegemony of their rule was consolidated by turning their sights to the other kingdoms. The kingdom of Navarra, however, was not to submit to the crown of Spain until the early sixteenth century [1512, invasion by King Fernando].

    Following the Carlist wars Navarra was given separate statute autonomy under the Spanish Constitution, reinforced with the victory of Franco in ’39 and then given separate autonomous stature once again with the new ‘democratic’ Spanish Constitution of 1979 which also created the ‘official Spanish” Basque Country, [Las Vascongadas], of Giupozcoa, Alava and Vizcaya* along with another thirteen semi autonomous ‘communidades’

    So there you have it, broad brush strokes I know.

    Why should The Basques not be Spanish? Because their historical nation was annexed by a stronger power and then partitioned.

    Sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?

    *Note Spanish spelling

  • picador

    I notice incorrect Spanish spelling:

    Guipúzcoa

    Your pedantically,

    picador

    P.S. Tell us the one about the Carlist wars

  • picador

    So tell me Irish Republicans, is Gibraltar Spanish?

    It’s as Spanish as Ceuta and Melilla!

  • Harry Flashman

    Thanks for your time and effort Paul it was kind of you but surely exactly the same history of a divided country trying to unite disparate factions into one nation could be said of Ireland, but Republicans still demand that no matter what divisions there are in the geographical nation known as Ireland that nation is one united nation. I respect that, I also happen to respect the idea that Spain is one nation too, I like Spain, I like the Spanish, I know what ignorant mouth breathing terrorists can do in Ireland and they also do in Spain.

    I’m with the Spanish. As the old song had it “Hey Viva Espana!”.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “First of all the Basque Country, [Euskal Herria in it’s native tongue], is defined as the geographical region where Euskera, [the Basque language], is spoken.”

    So, analagously, only parts of Donegal, Connemara and Kerry are Irish. All the rest must be…? Why, British of course since they speak their language.

    Mind you, on my brief visits to the Basque country, I’ve struggled to overhear anybody speaking anything other than Spanish.

  • RepublicanStones

    Glen perhaps it is Basque your hearing because to the untrained ear they may sound similar, unless of course…… tu hablar espanol?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘but surely exactly the same history of a divided country trying to unite disparate factions into one nation could be said of Ireland’

    Harry a closer analogy would be the UK. Trying to subjugate different peoples into one grand union. If you accept the irish have a right to govern themselves then….also you neglect the fact the basques ancestors were not imported en masse into the area they call home (crude choice of words, I apologise to our unionist posters).

  • William

    The Republic of Ireland have been one of the countries that have financially benefitted, some would say robbed Europe of grant monies, so the International warrant is another part of being a member of the club.

    However, the Republic chooses to ignore it, apparently. Why haven’t they taken Jim ‘Barrack Buster’ Monaghan in for questioning re this Spanish terrorist? Indeed why haven’t they sent the Barrack Buster and his two eco tourists back to serve their sentence in Colombia? Perhaps we could also ask our County Louth resident excuse for an Education Minister, Catriona ‘Ruanator’ Ruane where the ‘Jaun’ is….after all she has a track record in helping terrorists to escape and she is creating ‘chaos’ at the moment.

  • George

    William,
    However, the Republic chooses to ignore it, apparently. Why haven’t they taken Jim ‘Barrack Buster’ Monaghan in for questioning re this Spanish terrorist?

    I have to say that is the most ill-informed posts I’ve read on here in a long time. You haven’t a clue about what a European Arrest Warrant is supposed to do if you think that questioning of potential witnesses in foreign jurisdictions is involved.

  • picador

    I like Spain, I like the Spanish, I know what ignorant mouth breathing terrorists can do in Ireland and they also do in Spain.

    I’m with the Spanish. As the old song had it “Hey Viva Espana!”.

    I like Spain also. I have taken the trouble to its language. I also like the Basque Country and its people whether nationalist or not.

    Do you seen the rest of the world as an extension of Northern Ireland? Why are you with the Spanish? Have Basques (the vast majority of whom do not support ETA’s methods) done something to put your nose out of joint?

    The situation in Euskadi is very different from that in the north of Ireland. If you do not understand it I would politely suggest that you stay out of it and keep your simplistic, ignorant opinions to yourself.

    I look forward to the failure of vindicative attempts to secure the extradition of this ex-prisoner.

  • picador

    De Junana Chaos will be appearing at Laganside Court in Belfast at 9.30 on Monday morning to answer the International Warrant.

    Apparently he has already been in contact with the authorities here.

    Más

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks for that, picador.

  • First of all the Basque Country, [Euskal Herria in it’s native tongue], is defined as the geographical region where Euskera, [the Basque language], is spoken. Basques, [Euskaldunak], are defined by the language they speak.

    Paul,

    Just as a matter of idle curiousity, what percentage of Basques would now speak Euskera?

  • Paul McMahon

    “I’m with the Spanish. As the old song had it “Hey Viva Espana!”

    Shheesshh,

    Have to say ‘Arry I’m disapointed. I go to the trouble of a lengthy post and the best you can do is give me some tacky pop tat from the seventies.
    :0)

    [Franco also allegedly loced the song].

    Seriously though, if you are genuinely interested in the subject I reccomend The Basques by Roger Collins as a good English language starting point.

    Sorry don’t have the stats O’Neill. In my experience most Euskaldunak below a certain age would certainly also speak Spanish but, anecdotally, among my Basque friends Euskera is their daily language, [unless they’re speaking with Giris like me].

  • Harry Flashman

    No picador (yo hablo un poco espanol tambien, bastante para los taxis y los camereros de todos modos, “Gin y tonico, por favor Jose, si, muy grande”) I don’t see everything from a Northern Ireland perspective but I believe Republicans have a tendency to do so, hence any half baked “nationalist” cause will be supported, it just seemed odd to me to see people who so insist on the unity of their own nation against the wishes of a truculent majority in the north east corner wouldn’t grant the same wish to people who support the concept of a united Spain. However it’s really not an issue that bothers me greatly.

    Paul I think you’re right about El Caudillo’s fondness for that song, it kind of helped kick start the costas’ tourist boom that he figured would modernise Spain (bet they’re sorry now).

    Honestly I did find the history lesson interesting and I appreciate your book recommendation I might well follow it up.

  • Jack . ie

    It is a bit rich to have a go at the Republic considering the backwardness of Soviet Ireland.

  • Oscar

    Picador:

    1. He killed 25 people.

    Your words: “While in prison for a very long period of time for committing various acts of ‘terrorism’

    2. Those 25 victims included innocent people, even an US guy who was just jogging in the area where one of his bombs detonated, 25 policemen in training! and wounded over 45 people.

    Your words: “The fascists will never allow him to live in peace after he killed so many members of the Guardia Civil”

    3. Sentenced to 3,000 years in prison, but was to serve only 18 years. Completed officially in October 2004.

    Your words: “I think any attempt by the Spanish authorities to pursue this will ultimately fail and will have the added affect of putting in the spotlight the oppressive policies and laws they are enacting in the Basque country.”

    4. De Juana ordered prawns and champagne from his jailers to celebrate the killing of a politician Tomas Caballero) and his wife.

    Your words: “… He has suffered alot for his actions”

    I do not expect you to change your mind, neither to check your facts because obviously you prefer to live in a lie.

    However, we are majority. We know who the only victims are. Your comments just make us stronger.

    I know some of the daughters, wifes, and mothers… They are simple people, probably like your own family.

    I do not expect a minimum of sensibility from people like you but this post is just a small tribute to the real victims.