WO young Basques and a Spanish taxi driver were sentenced to 48 years' imprisonment each by a military court in San Sebastian last week on charges of arson and terrorism and of illegally possessing arms. The military prosecutor had demanded death sentences.
A fourth man was jailed for 12 years and another was acquitted. The sentences must be iconfirmed by the CaptainGeneral of the region. The accusations included setting fire to the house of the Mayor of Lazcano, near San Sebastian, and stealing explosives from quarries.
It was the first trial since the proclamation in August of a state of emergency in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, of Which San Sebastian is the capital. Evidence was given at the trial that the accused men confessed to many of the charges after days of torture and maltreatment.
The two Basques sentenced to 48 years are Jose Beguiristain, 26, of Lazcano, and Francisco Badiola, 24, owner of a garage. The Spanish taki driver is Dionisio Santayo, 31. Juan Sarasola, 20, received the 12-year sentence and Jose Zufiria, 23, was acquitted.
'CONFESSIONS' REPUDIATED Several witnesses said the men had confessed under torture, and the five accused said their "confessions," which they later repudiated, had been forced out of them during 11 days of beatings and torture at San Sebastian police station. Nine witnesses said they had visited the men in goal and seen signs of violence on their bodies and faces.
The prosecutor said the five belonged to a "separatist, Communist and terrorist" movement which he identified as Basque Homeland and Liberty (E.T.A.). The day after the trial the police in San Sebastian announced the capture of Jose Dorronsoro, 27, a former seminarian, said to be an E.T.A. leader.
WOMEN'S 'SIT-IN' ENDS
In the neighbouring province of Biscay the police have arrested 13 suspected members of the banned Socialist party and detained I I Basques believed to be connected with an attack on a policeman and the theft of a jewelled crown from a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Archbishop Morcillo of Madrid intervened on Sunday and ended a four-day "sit-in" in a church by the wives of political prisoners demanding better conditions in jail. The Archbishop visited them and assured them he would back their demands.
The "sit-in" coincided with a hunger strike at Carabanchel Prison, Madrid, by more than 50 political prisoners who had been put in solitary confinement after protesting at conditions.
A group of more than 600 priests, mostly from Madrid parishes, has presented a statement to the bishops saying they want to renounce Government salaries, and that they would prefer "to take up salaried jobs and depend also on contributions from the faithful."
They said a State subsidy "in the long run deprives the preaching of the Word of God of necessary freedom," and that being on the State payroll caused priests to appear to many people, particularly the workers, as "officials" of the Government who do little to earn their living.
Priests must be properly dressed
THE diocesan authorities of Lamego, Portugal, have stressed that visiting priests wishing to say Mass in local churches must be dressed as priests, with dark clothes and a clerical collar. They must wear a cassock under the Mass vestments, and parishes are recommended to keep a few spare cassocks.