Convict in Spain GAL death squads arrested over drugs

Spanish authorities investigating drug trafficking arrested an ex-policeman who was a high-profile convict for his role in the GAL death squads that targeted Basque separatists in the 1980s, officials said Monday.

The former police inspector Michel Dominguez "was arrested on Saturday morning in Barcelona as part of an anti-drug-trafficking operation" as he arrived by train from Madrid, a police spokesman told AFP.

Dominguez was convicted and jailed in the 1990s for attempted killings and a kidnapping as a member of the secret anti-terrorism squads set up to fight the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

The GAL -- the Anti-terrorist Liberation Groups -- were accused of 28 killings between 1983 and 1987, most of them in the French Basque region.

The revelation of their activities was a scandal for the Socialist government of Felipe Gonzalez and contributed to his election defeat to the conservative Jose Maria Aznar in 1996.

Dominguez at his trial denied the government had been involved in the squads.