Terror accusation reopens wounds:
The trial of seven men and one woman accused of beating two police officers and their girlfriends two years ago in northern Spain opened Monday amid controversy because of the terrorism charges brought against the defendants.
The fight at a bar in the small town of Alsasua in the early hours of Oct 15, 2016, left one off-duty officer with a broken ankle and caused psychological trauma to all the victims, according to Civil Guard unions.
Prosecutors say the brawl should be punished under the country’s terrorism laws, as crimes of terrorist intent. They claim the attackers were members of Basque activism groups and that targeted the off-duty officers as part of their campaign to oust Spanish security forces from Basque areas a goal also shared by the militant separatist group ETA.
Areas with a strong Basque identity are grappling to overcome decades of violence at the hands of ETA, which killed more than 800 people including police agents, politicians and entrepreneurs before giving up its armed campaign for Basque independence in 2011. (AP)