Europe

Spanish police jailed for torture of Basque Eta members

Cranes lift debris in the parking lot of Terminal 4 at Madrid's Barajas airport after the December 2006 bombing (file image from Jan 2007)
Image caption Two people died in the 2006 Madrid airport attack

A Spanish court has jailed four civil guard police officers for torturing two members of the armed Basque separatist group, Eta.

The four - who were part of a group of 15 paramilitary police on trial - were given sentences ranging from two to four and a half years in prison.

The two Eta suspects were arrested in 2008 and later beaten and threatened.

Subsequently, they were found guilty of a bombing at Madrid's Barajas airport in 2006 in which two people died.

The police officers were found guilty of beating and threatening to kill Mattin Sarasola and Igor Portu after they were taken into custody.

The court, in the Basque city of San Sebastian, was told that Sarasola had a gun pointed at his head, and Portu was plunged several times in a river and forced to drink the water.

The court awarded them a total of 24,000 euros (£20,000; $32,000) in compensation for the torture.

The ruling came on the fourth anniversary of the attack on Madrid's Terminal 4, which destroyed a five-story parking garage, killed two Ecuadorian immigrants and wounded 41 people.

Eta's violent campaign has led to more than 820 deaths over the past 40 years.

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