France sentences ETA members for murdering Spanish officers

Paris, Apr 25 (EFE).- A French court passed sentence Thursday against two members of the Basque terrorist group ETA for the killings of two Spanish Civil Guard officers in southwestern France.

Mikel Carrera Sarobe was sentenced to life and will have to serve at least 22 years, while Saioa Sanchez Iturregui received a term of 28 years and will not become eligible for release until 2031.

Civil Guardsmen Raul Centeno and Fernando Trapero were gunned down in the line of duty on Dec. 1, 2007, in the southwestern French town of Capbreton.

Another defendant charged in the double-murder, Asier Bengoa Lopez de Armentia, was acquitted of homicide, but convicted on other terrorism-related charges.

The court also handed down prison terms for the other four people on trial, none of whom was directly linked to the events in Capbreton, including former ETA military commander Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, who is already behind bars in France for previous convictions.

ETA has killed more than 850 people since taking up arms in 1968 to seek a Basque nation comprising parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.