Three Basque suspects go on trial over Madrid car bomb

Three suspected Basque separatists, accused of carrying out the 2006 Madrid airport bombing which killed two people, have gone on trial.

Mattin Sarasola, Igor Portu and Mikel San Sebastian are accused of planting the bomb in a van that exploded in a car park on 30 December 2006.

Basque separatist group Eta later admitted responsibility and said the deaths were unintended.

The attack also wrecked peace talks between the Spanish government and Eta.

The three men refused to address the court or to enter a plea.

They are charged with two murders, 41 attempted murders and terrorist damage.

“I don’t recognise this fascist court and I am not going to take part in it,” Mr Sarasola told the court in Basque.

Mr Portu and Mr Sarasola were arrested in January 2008, while Mr San Sebastian was detained in France a few weeks later.

Two Ecuadorian immigrants who were sleeping in their cars were killed and 41 people were injured at the Barajas airport multi-storey car park, which was reduced to rubble by the blast.

The two deaths were the first attributed to Eta in more than three years, and led the Spanish government to officially end a tentative dialogue with the group launched a few months earlier. The armed separatists had declared a permanent ceasefire in March 2006, but formally called it off in June 2007.

The group seeks an independent state in northern Spain and south-west France.  Eta has been blamed for killing more than 800 people in its campaign, which has lasted more than three decades.

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