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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Mexico to extradite Eta suspects
Six detainees held in a Mexican jail accused of belonging to Basque separatist group ETA.
The six detainees have been on hunger strike for more than three weeks
Mexico says it will extradite six alleged members of armed Basque separatist movement Eta to Spain.

The six are wanted in Spain on charges of channelling funds for the group and helping to hide exiled members.

The five men and one woman were arrested a year ago in Mexico after police found information on chemical weapons in a house at a coastal resort.

The six have since been held in jail, where they have been on hunger strike for the past three weeks.

'Money-laundering'

"The extradition is granted of persons charged with illegal membership of a terrorist organisation, fund-raising for terrorists and laundering of money from terrorist activities," the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement.

The prisoners deny the accusations.

They say that they were involved in the Basque separatist movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s but deny having been involved in politics since they moved to Mexico between three and 16 years ago.

For more than three decades Eta has waged a bloody campaign for independence for the seven regions in northern Spain and south-west France that Basque separatists claim as their own.

The ministry gave no date when the six would be sent to Spain.

Mexico signed an extradition treaty with Spain in the mid-1990s agreeing to cease to consider suspected Eta members as political refugees.




SEE ALSO:
Who are Eta?
11 Apr 04  |  Europe
Eta: Key events
11 Apr 04  |  Europe
Mexico holds ETA suspects
19 Jul 03  |  Europe
Pamplona hotel bomb defused
14 Jul 03  |  Europe



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