Suspect in 1997 Spanish king plot arrested – police


British police have arrested a suspected member of the Basque separatist group ETA wanted in connection with a plot to assassinate the King of Spain in 1997, authorities in both countries said on Thursday.

Eneko Gogeaskoetxea, 44, was among ETA members who planned to launch grenades at the 1997 opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, where King Juan Carlos 1 was due to preside, the Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Gogeaskoetxez escaped from Basque police on the day of the museum’s inauguration after a shootout which left one officer dead. He had been living with his family in the English city of Cambridge, where he was arrested on Thursday.

ETA, which has killed more than 850 people in half a century of struggle for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwest France, has been weakened by a string of arrests and discoveries of arms caches in Spain, France and Portugal.

The separatists declared a permanent cease-fire on January 10, which was rejected by the Spanish government as insufficient because it did not come with full disarmament.