The prosecutor’s office asks not to decaffeinate the forgiveness of the victims of ETA

Vitoria (EFE).- The National Court of Justice Prison Supervision Prosecutor’s Office believes that ETA’s forgiveness of victims of terrorism cannot be “decaffeinated” with “general formulae”.

Carlos Bautista, coordinating prosecutor for the supervision of prisons of the National Court, expressed this at a round table organized by Terrorism Victims Association in Victoria. The conference, entitled “Justice and Victims of Terrorism: Unresolved Challenges”, was also attended by Jaime Tapia, adviser to the Basque government on prison policy.

The Coordinating Attorney for the Supervision of Prisons of the National Court exposed the position taken by this body when it comes to upgrading the class of ETA prisoners.

Prosecutor Carlos Bautista and adviser to the Basque government Jaime Tapia. EFE/L. Rich

As the Basque Country took over the administration of prisons, the Basque government provided 32 transitions to the third degree of ETA prisoners. Of these, 26 were appealed by the prosecutor’s office, 6 were withdrawn and 4 were confirmed.

Bautista argued that when the prosecutor’s office appeals these promotions, they limit themselves to complying with the law because they “do not play politics.”

He recalled that in order to improve skills, there should be unambiguous signs of abandoning terrorist goals and means and cooperating with the authorities to clarify terrorist attacks.

Cooperation with justice

Regarding this collaboration, he said he has been with the National Court for 17 years and has seen “none” of it other than the prisoners held on Nanclares Street. On the contrary, he said that he observes a “wall” of the organization that imposes a position in this area on its members.

With regard to non-terrorism and non-violence, Bautista affirmed that a direct request for forgiveness to victims cannot be “decaffeinated” or “replaced” by “general formulas”. In his opinion, the only thing left for the victims is to wait for the killer to arrive and say “sorry” in the letter. “It’s nothing else,” so “those affected are resting.”

“The Criminal Chamber of the National Court considers this symbolic question important because it means the destruction of the barrier,” Bautista said. However, he observed that the “overwhelming majority” of prisoners do not.

Regarding the technical reports for determining that prisoners are disconnected from the terrorist group and their entourage, Bautista indicated that they reflect what the prisoner is saying.

The prisoners claim they “respect the pain of the victims but do not ask for forgiveness”, a “formula” that the National Court has rejected up to 22 times.

AVT event in Vitoria. EFE/L.Rico

“I understand that it’s hard to understand what the law says and what we can’t do is remove the decaffeinated language,” Batista said.

Basque government: asking for forgiveness should not be a totem

Tapia claimed that every stage signed by the Basque government was confirmed by the reports of the medical commissions. But he felt that asking for forgiveness should not be a “totem”. “The worst thing that can happen is that the word is used for utilitarian purposes,” he said.

“We believe that it is preferable to test sincere regret for wrongful acts and the harm caused to their victims, regardless of whether it translates into the use of such an expression,” Tapia added.

Regarding cooperation, he said they “did not find that there was an organization” that gives prisoners “instructions or directives” in this regard. EFE

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at