Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 07:15 UK

Irish pledge support in Eta hunt

Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos - Getty Images
Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos on his release from prison

The Irish government has said it will give whatever support it can in the hunt for a notorious convicted Eta killer, wanted by Interpol.

Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos, 52, was sentenced to 3,000 years in prison for 25 murders in the 1980s, but was released early in August.

Three weeks ago he applied for a passport at Spain's Embassy in Dublin.

He is now wanted by a Spanish judge to answer charges that he praised or supported terrorism in a letter.

Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern said gardai would give whatever support they could in the hunt for Mr Chaos.

"As far as I'm concerned and the government is concerned, Ireland should not have terrorists, either indigenous or foreign, on our shores," he said.

"If any request comes from any other country in relation to their own terrorists who are running around the world, we will co-operate as we always do."

Colombia Three

It is believed Mr Chaos may have travelled to Ireland two days after he was released from jail.

The Spanish embassy said he applied for a passport, giving his address as a house belonging to Jim Monaghan - one of Ireland's Colombia Three.

A campaign to release the men, who had been accused of teaching left-wing rebels bomb-making techniques in the south American country, was led by Sinn Fein Assembly Member Caitriona Ruane.

The three, who denied links with the IRA, were initially acquitted of charges of training Farc rebels.

They fled the country and were later sentenced to 17 years in their absence following an appeal by Colombia's state prosecutor.

The trio remain the subject of an Interpol arrest warrant.

There have been reports in the Spanish media that Mr Chaos has fled the Republic and may be hiding in Northern Ireland, with sympathisers in the republican movement.

Traditional Unionist Voice leader, Jim Allister MEP, said Basque separatists had many links with Sinn Fein.

"If Sinn Fein has any semblance of support for the rule of law then let them hand over this internationally wanted terrorist," he said.

Sinn Fein has said that Mr Chaos has nothing to do with them.

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