City terror suspect lawyers agree extradition hearing date

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordenez's legal team appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordenez's legal team appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

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LAWYERS acting for a man who is wanted in two European countries for terrorism offences have agreed on dates in which they’ll argue his case to prevent his extradition from Scotland.

Benat Atorrasagasti Ordenez’s legal team appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today to say they are preparing arguments to why he should be allowed to stay in Scotland.

The 36-year-old is a suspected member of Basque terror group ETA and was convicted in absentia France in 2008 of terrorism offences.

The French authorities want him returned to the country so he can serve five years in a prison there.

He is also wanted in Spain over his alleged role in helping two men who killed Spanish politician Miguel Angel Blanco flee to France in 1997.

The Spanish civil guard also suspect Atorrasagasti of helping at least 10 ETA gunmen cross the border from Spain to France.

Attorasagasti was arrested in Edinburgh in July 2012 - after authorities in France and Spain sought his extradition back to their countries.

He had spent 11 years living in the Scottish capital and was working as a van delivery driver.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Attorasagasti appeared from the cells.

His mother Carmen sat in court along with approximately 30 of his supporters.

As he came handcuffed into the dock, his mum blew him a kiss and said ‘hijo’ - the Spanish word for ‘son’.

Female friends sitting in the public benches shouted the word ‘guapo’ - the Spanish word for handsome.

The clerk of the court asked him if his name was Benat Ordenez.

He replied: “Benat Atorrasagasti Ordenez.”

He turned and smiled to his friends as defence QC Mungo Bovey told Sheriff Alistair Noble that he and the Crown had came to agreement about how the extradition process would proceed.

He told the court that both France and Spain had made two separate extradition agreements - and that the defence and the Crown would deal with the French one first.

Depute procurator fiscal Ruth Lunny confirmed to the court that they would deal with the French extradition request first.

After approximately 90 seconds, the hearing was then adjourned.

Mr Atorrasagasti will next appear on November 5 for a preliminary hearing. He will then appear in court on December 3 for the actual extradition hearing.