The suspected military leader of Basque separatist movement ETA, arrested last week in southwest France, has been charged with the murder of two Spanish civil guards in December 2007, judicial sources said on Monday.
Spanish national Mikel Kabikoitz Karrera Sarobe, known as Ata, along with a second man and a woman, were detained last Thursday in a raid on an apartment in the town of Bayonne.
Sarobe has been considered to be military leader of ETA since French police arrested predecessor Ibon Gogeascoechea in February.
ETA guerrillas active in Spain often take refuge in southwest France, parts of which they claim as belonging to the Basque homeland. The group has killed more than 850 people in Spain in recent decades.
The sources said Sarobe was charged after his DNA was found in at least three places, including two cars used by the group to escape after the killing of the civil guards in 2007.
French and Spanish authorities have arrested several senior ETA members since 2008. Spain’s Interior Ministry says Spanish and French police have arrested 50 ETA members this year alone.
(Reporting by Nicolas Bertin; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Louise Ireland)