Spanish Government denies it shut down Basque paper

The Spanish Government has denied that it was responsible for the closure of Basque language paper Egunkaria, saying that it was the decision of a senior judge.

Last week, Press Gazette reported on the closure of Egunkaria, the imprisonment and alleged torture of its editor and the links the Basque newspaper has made with Irish language title Lá.

A Spanish embassy official responded to the allegations, saying: “The newspaper Egunkaria has been closed down by a senior judge, not the Government. This decision has been taken after a very long investigation. The Spanish Government is not allowed to close any newspaper.

“The judge has closed Egunkaria not because of its editorial line, but because there is information that this newspaper has been used to finance Eta.”

Responding to the allegation that editor Martxelo Otamendi was tortured and beaten by the Guardia Civil when he was held without trial for five days, he said: “These allegations are being investigated; it is quite normal for Eta detainees to say that.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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