Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 12:26 UK

De Juana Chaos 'jumps bail' ahead of appeal

Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos outside court on Friday
Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos was convicted of 25 murders

A Basque separatist convicted of 25 murders is believed to have jumped bail and left Northern Ireland.

Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos, 54, is wanted in Spain to face a charge of glorifying terrorism.

De Juana Chaos, who had been living in west Belfast, was out on bail ahead of an appeal against his extradition.

On Thurdsay, High Court judges were told he has not reported to police in Belfast or been at an agreed address in the city for more than a month.

An application has now been made to revoke bail.

The Basque man, who served more than 21 years in jail for his part in an ETA campaign of murders, is wanted over the contents of a letter read out at a rally in San Sebastian the day after his release in August 2008.

He had been living in Northern Ireland with his wife, but his extradition was ordered in March, when a judge rejected his claims he would not receive a fair trial.

His lawyers claimed any further imprisonment could leave him facing death due to his fragile mental health and he was due to appeal the extradition order next month.

Pending that challenge he was required to report daily to Grosvenor Road police station, stay at a known address and observe a night-time curfew.

De Juana Chaos had received permission to work at two cafes as part of the bail arrangements.

'Failed to report'

But Stephen Ritchie, for the Spanish authorities, told the High Court on Thursday: "He has not reported to police since 25 March, the day before his case last came before this court.

"He has not been at his home address when police called, or indeed the two named cafes."

He added: "There is good reason to believe he may well have left the jurisdiction."

De Juana Chaos's lawyer, Sean Devine, told the court the wanted man had not made contact with his solicitors since 26 March.

The case has been adjourned to allow further prepared submissions.



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