The National High Court on Tuesday promoted the investigation into the murder of two ertzainas by ETA just 20 years ago. Judge Joaquín Gadea has charged two members of the terrorist gang, Mikel Carrera Sarobe and Itxaso Zaldua, for their alleged participation in the attack perpetrated on November 23, 2001 against two agents of the Basque autonomous police, Ana Isabel Aróstegui and Francisco Mijangos , shot from behind in Beasain (Gipuzkoa). The material authors of the crime were never identified.
The investigating judge has made this decision after receiving a new report from the Civil Guard, which has analyzed the documentation provided by France in 2018 and has crossed it with information that it already had in its possession from other investigations, including DNA samples. According to Gadea, these new inquiries have made it possible to gather evidence of “singular incriminating force” against Carrera and Zaldua, whom he has summoned for questioning.
In a letter issued this Tuesday, the magistrate emphasizes that the documentation sent by France has made it possible to conclude that in 2001 the Basajaun command was formed, active until 2003 and which is now placed in the spotlight as a possible person responsible for the attack. “East [grupo operativo de ETA] was directed by Zaldua and Carrera ”, aliases Sahatsa and they respectively, says Gadea. The judge also indicates that, during the search in 2010 of a storage room used as a warehouse for explosives, a bag with several casings “struck by the same weapon used for the murder of the two officers” was seized, which were found next to a glove. made of latex with Carrera’s DNA.
In addition, both ETA members were prosecuted for the murder of Manuel Giménez Abad, president of the PP of Aragon and senator, committed on May 6, 2001 when he was going with his 17-year-old son to watch a Real Zaragoza football match. This crime was executed with the same modus operandi that of the two ertzainas de Beasain: “The authors were a man and a woman. Giménez was shot three times, two of them when he was lying on the ground ”, describes Gadea. According to eyewitnesses, the attack against the two regional police officers was also committed by two people: “A man, between 25 and 30 years old, with an approximate height of 1.75 to 1.80 meters; and a woman of about 25 years and a height of approximately 1.65. Both wore thick-rimmed glasses, gloves, and warm clothing. ” The terrorists approached their victims from behind and shot them “point blank”.
With these new investigations as a backdrop, the judge considers “necessary, useful and pertinent” to advance in the clarification of the facts. And, for this reason, in addition to agreeing on the interrogation of the two ETA members, it has ordered a new check of the fingerprints and DNA evidence of both.
Carrera, who is considered the perpetrator of the three shots that killed Giménez Abad, is currently imprisoned in France, where he is serving a life sentence for murdering two civil guards in Capbreton in 2007 and the French policeman Jean-Serge Nérin in March 2010. Zaldua was arrested in France in 2005, where she was sentenced to 18 years in prison. After serving her sentence, the terrorist was expelled to Spain in August 2017.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.