The Dutch justice system has blood on its hands!!

Verdict October 1 13.00 Parnassusweg 220 in Amsterdam

The bench decided to allow the extradition of the Catalan activist and singer of the hardcore band KOP. The extradition request consisted of three charges:
- membership of/collaboration with a terrorist organisation
- attempted conspiracy to commit murder
- acting as a courier between the ETA command in Barcelona and the leadership of the organisation in France

The bench decided that the first two charges could be considered one and granted the demand for extradition on these charges.

Extradition on the third charge was declined. The bench shared the concern of Juanra's defence that there was the possibility of Juanra being the victim of torture in Spain, but found that this is the business of Spanish justice and that suspects in Spain also have the legal means to file an accusation of mistreatment or torture. The bench shall advise the Dutch ministry of justice to request that the Spanish authorities not detain Juanra 'incommunicado' (in total isolation lasting 5 days, during which mistreatment and torture is regularly inflicted on ETA suspects). The bench did not exclude the possibility that the suspected head of the the Barcelona ETA command, Fernando García Jodra, might well have been tortured during the first 5 days of his detention in August 2001, but found that there is no written proof to support that possibility.

The bench claimed that according to Spanish law, García Jodra has the possibility to file an accusation of torture or mistreatment against him. García Jodra made a legal statement during the first five days of his 'incommunicado' detention which contained statements damaging to Juanra. García Jodra retracted his statement immediately upon being led before the examining judge at the end of his 'incommunicado' detention and shortly thereafter filed a formal complaint of torture and mistreatment.

Juanra's lawyer announced, after consulting Juanra, that the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court. It will be at least six months before the case is heard there. Depending on what the verdict of the Supreme Court is, the ministry of justice will then take a decision on the extradition. Until the ministry of justice decides, Juanra shall remain free on bail (20000 euro was posted for him in June 2002).

We are glad to still have Juanra among us, but at the same time furious about the verdict from the Amsterdam district court. The half-hearted show of sympathy with the defence concerning possible torture or mistreatment is accompanied by a complete acquiescence to both the pile of lies and distortions that have been presented by the Spanish authorities for the past ten months and the standard application of mistreatment/torture to suspected ETA detainees. The Spanish authorities make use of practices that many would compare to Latin American dictatorships, and they have been increasingly attempting for the past decade to muzzle any form of political opposition by suggesting unproven connections with the clandestine Basque organisation ETA. In the first half of this year, the Spanish government even proposed to put the "anti-globalisation movement" on the European list of terrorist organisations. This proposal was voted down by the majority of EU member states for the time being.

The court did not fully respond to a number of points made by the defence. Juanra's lawyer Victor Koppe will also file an appeal on grounds of these omissions.

After the verdict was made known, a storm of dismay erupted from the public gallery among the supporters of Juanra who were present. A banner was unfurled saying that "The Dutch justice system has blood on its hands. Spain tortures!" and the window separating the public gallery from the courtroom was covered with handprints in red paint to symbolise the daily use of torture in Spain and the complicity of the Dutch judicial system with those practices.

Juanra must be definitively free.

No extradition of Juanra to a criminal justice system that tortures!

All charges against Juanra must be dismissed!

The original Dutch text of this ridiculous verdict can be found here.