Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bidart Free

The news about the release of Filipe Bidart come to us via EITb:


Defence's appeal accepted

Former leader of Basque armed group Philippe Bidart on parole


The former member of Iparretarrak (northerners in Basque) will be released on parole on February 14 after serving 19 years in prison, as his lawyer confirmed for the radio station Euskadi Irratia.

The court that reviews sentences in Paris accepted the appeal brought by Philippe Bidart's defence and ordered to release the former leader of the Basque armed band Iparretarrak (northerners) on parole on February 14. He will be under police surveillance until 2014, as his lawyer Filipe Aramendi informed Euskadi Irratia.

Late February would mark 19 years in prison for Bidart, even if French Law contemplates the release of any prisoner on parole after serving 17 years.

This is the fourth time a court revises Bidart's case. The first request for parole was rejected, as well as an appeal following the rejection. The second request on October 2006 was rejected again, but now the court that revises sentences changed its mind, against prosecutor's opinion.

The parole petition was backed by 3,000 signatures, among them 120 from holders of public office in the Basque provinces within the French State, and a NGO that helps migrants. The NGO guaranteed an indefinite contract and shelter for Bidart in Beziers.

The former Iparretarrak leader was arrested in 1988 and sentenced to life imprisonment twice for the murder of two policemen and a gendarme.

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