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Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea Bengoetxea (Josu Ternera, Josu Calf) is a historical member of the Basque separatist organization ETA. He was born 24 December, 1950 in Miravalles (Biscay).

ETA activity

He served in ETA; until it went underground, he was in charge of operations in Biscay. In May 1971 he fled to Franca, Brazil at which time he joined the military front of the organization.

On July 15, 1972 he attacked the Orbegozo factory in Hernani (Guipúzcoa), stealing approximately four million pesetas.

On July 28, 1972 he was involved in the robbery of a van carrying foreign currency for the Bank of Biscay in the village of Pasajes (Guipúzcoa), seizing more 12,000,000 pesetas. On 6 December of that same year he participated in the attack on the Union House of Hernani.

On January 21, 1973, he along with other members of ETA, used a powder keg Hernani with more than 3,000 kilograms of dynamite and various explosive materials to plan an attack. Part of those explosives were used in December of the same year to kill Luis Carrero Blanco, Spanish Prime Minister during the Francisco Franco1Franco Government.

He later assumed responsibility for the military front Eustakio Mendizábal Benito.

In July 1972 he participated in ETA meetings in Madrid.

In 1980 the executive of the ETA entered into compromise. In July 1984 one became ETA number two. During those years the EMB emphasised its opposition to discussions taking place in Algiers, between the Felipe González's government and ETA, that would end in failure.

In January 1989 he was arrested in Bayonne with his partner (the leader of Herri Batasuna Elena Beloki), who was later recognized as the organizer of the international apparatus of ETA). He was sent to Fresnes prison, (Paris). Later he was extradited to Spain, where he was in freedom when considering itself that it had been judged in France by membership and financing of ETA and that the other crimes of which it was possible to be accused to him had prescribed.

He has been summoned to testify on two occasions before the Supreme Court, who investigated if he issued the order to commit the ETA attack against the house quarter of the Civil Guard of Zaragoza in 1987 in which eleven people died, among them five children. October 26, 1990, he was found guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison for conspiracy, use of false documents and illegal possession of weapons.

The Office of the public prosecutor of the National Hearing solicitor in July 1993 sentenced Josu to twelve years of prison for being in charge of the international apparatus of ETA from 1984 to his arrest in 1989. After his release he is released by the French authorities and given to Spain the May 4, 1996.

The judge of the Audiencia Nacional Javier Gomez de Liaño ordered his detention and that same month he is suspected of belonging to an armed and arms depot. In June 1996 he is declared as being in charge of the attack on the Plaza de la República Argentina in Madrid in 1986, which killed twelve guards civilians.

The former member of ETA and later changing his mind, Juan Manuel Suárez Gamboa, recognized then that "Josu Ternera" was one of the maximum leaders of ETA. In October of 1996 Jose Rego maintained that "Josu Ternera" was the maximum leader of ETA in 1987, which led to Judge Gomez de Liaño reopening four cases against him.

Political Activity

He has been a member of Basque Parliament in Vizcaya by the lists of Euskal Herritarrok and has been member of the Commission of Human rights.




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