An official of the self-styled Basque government in exile discussed on Wednesday 92 December) the kidnapping of West Germany's honorary consul in the Spanish seaside city of San Sebastian which occurred on Tuesday night (1 December).
CU Woman in silhouette
CU Woman in silhouette
TRANSCRIPTS: (SEQ 3): OFFICIAL: "That I am not able to answer, because killing doesn't go with the character of the Basque people. But, on the other hand, when they have been trying to get arranged by the most democratic ways, and they have not succeeded, and as I said before they are already desperate, and don't know whether they will be capable of doing it. I only hope they won't kill him."
REPORTER: "Since you've heard the news of the kidnapping, you've been in contact with your government in Paris. What have they told you is already happening since the kidnapping, in the Basque country?"
OFFICIAL: "Well, what is already happening is that houses are searched without a warrant, that people are already put in jail, there is whole panic in the Basque country, and fear, and probably by now hundreds and hundreds of people have already been put in jail."
REPORTER: "Do you think the kidnappers have any chance of keeping the Consul away from the police?"
OFFICIAL: "I really don't know. You see this morning when I heard the radio I was shocked. I was not expecting such a thing. And then I started to think. The kidnapping, it took place at ten o'clock at night -- it's already dark. If they are well organised, they may have been able to take him through the mountains and by now he could be in France or he could be as far as Casablanca."
Initials JH/BOB/OS/127 JH/BOB/OS/133
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Background: An official of the self-styled Basque government in exile discussed on Wednesday 92 December) the kidnapping of West Germany's honorary consul in the Spanish seaside city of San Sebastian which occurred on Tuesday night (1 December). During the interview -- in which she insisted she must not be identifiable allegedly for fear of reprisals -- the official said the Basques were becoming desperate but that she hoped the Consul would not be killed.
The kidnapping was described as being carried out apparently by Basque nationalist extremists. The kidnapping took place on the eve of a controversial military trial in the garrison town of Burgos.
The Civil governor of San Sebastian issued a statement saying there were indications that the Consul, Herr Eugen Beihl, 59, had been the victim of a kidnap by the E.T.A. movement. The E.T.A. -- initials for the slogan "Basque nation and Freedom" -- is a movement of Basque left-wing revolutionaries who broke away from the more conservative basque Nationalist Party and have used guerrilla tactics.
In Burgos, 16 alleged E.T.A. activists are due to go on trial by court-martial on thursday (3 December). Six of them face possible death sentences on charges of planning or carrying out the murder of San Sebastian's secret police chief in August, 1968.
The Basque nationalist official interviewed on Wednesday said of the kidnappers were well organised, the Consul could be across the border in France or as far as Casablanca. She also said she could not answer if the Consul would be killed, but she said she hoped not.