Eta suspect given post as lecturer

February 21, 2003

A remand prisoner accused of being a financial mastermind for the Basque separatist group Eta, has been appointed as an applied economics lecturer at Spain's University of the Basque Country.

Peace campaigners have protested against the appointment of Joseba Mikel Garmendia Albarrac!n, a councillor for the suspended Batasuna party that shares Eta's aims and does not oppose its violence, to a job at the university's business school.

Mr Garmendia has been in custody since April, when he and others were detained in a bid to prove that the party, a range of campaign groups and businesses work under Eta's control.

Mr Garmendia was already an interim lecturer at the school. He made his case before an appointments tribunal in handcuffs.

University rector Manu Montero said: "There was a vacancy, a candidate won the post, and we can't be criticised for that."

The Basque Socialist Party said it was "deeply worrying to have an Eta suspect" at the university.

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