Controversy
Extradition, political offence exception and the French sanctuary
in Counter-terror by proxy
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The desire to secure French co-operation in the fight against ETA had been a preoccupation of every Spanish government since the end of the Franco regime. During the late 1970s and 1980s, however, France and Spain were embroiled in diplomatic spats over requests for the extradition of ETA militants who found a comfortable refuge beyond the reach of Spanish law in south-west France. The French reluctance to extradite was perceived in Spain not only as tacit support for the clandestine organisation’s activities but also as an affront to Spanish national identity and prestige and a frustrating hindrance to its endeavour to be seen as a modern and forward-looking European nation. The essence of a decision to protect, to grant asylum or to extradite a person pertains to political matters, and that argument constitutes the background of this chapter. Drawing directly upon French archives, it closely examines the controversial and delicate issue of extradition of Basque refugees to Spain. It provides a thorough review of the progression of French jurisprudence on extradition and asylum, which shifted uneasily between political sympathy, core judicial principle and pragmatism.

Counter-terror by proxy

The Spanish State’s illicit war with ETA

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