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A Cesid agent reveals on tape that Zabalza died in Intxaurrondo

by gara Friday, Jan. 14, 2005 at 2:40 PM

CESID agent, Pedro Gomez Nieto, revealed to his superior Juan Alberto Perote in 1985 that Mikel Zabalza died while he was being tortured in Intxaurrondo. Zabalza, who had been arrested by the Civil Guard on November 20 1985, was found dead a few days later in the river Bidasoa with signs on his body of having been tortured.

MADRID-. A recording of a conversation held in 1985 between Pedro Gómez Nieto, a Civil Guard officer and Cesid agent working in the Intzaurrondo barracks, and Juan Alberto Perote, coronel in the Spanish Secret Services, shows that Mikel Zabalza died as a consequence of the torture that he was subjected to during his detention, according to information published by the 'El Mundo' newspaper.

According to the newspaper, the recording was carried out by CESID agents themselves "without the Sargent in Intxaurrondo knowing that it was being secretly recorded by his colleagues", and the transcription of the recording is now in the hands of the Investigating Magistrate, Elena Rodríguez, Court no. 1 Donostia.

In the transcription published yesterday in 'El Mundo' "it got out of his hands, it ended during interrogation ... It will never be discovered in that way, never. I think so, it got out of his hands in the interrogation, he died on them in the interrogation".

Zabalza's body was found some days later in the Bidasoa river, at Endarlatza. According to the official version he fled whilst in the custody of the Civil Guards who arrested him. This version had been questioned from the beginnning, as the area had been searched in depth previously.

He was asked by Perote if he believes that Zabalza "was killed by them in Intxaurrondo". Gómez Nieto said he did and added that "it was possibly heart failure as a result of the plastic bag on his head, that is my impression".

Gómez Nieto added that "the doctor said that Zabalza was in bad health, that he should have had three operations in the last year".

The information published in 'El Mundo' also makes reference to the death of Joxean Lasa and Joxi Zabala in the Intxaurrondo barracks. "Lasa. He got two shots to the head", Gómez Nieto points out. "Two shots?", Perote asks. "Two shots to the head without a hood", Gómez Nieto replies. "Two shots and...and he didn't have a hood on or anything?", Perote asks again. "No, no, it was two shots", Gómez Nieto insists, and admits his participation in the torture of "the head of the commandos that were involved in the death of Captain Martín Barrios, and was about to take us".

Pedro Gómez Nieto is a CESID and Civil Guard agent and has has worked in different areas since he arrived in Andoain in 1983. At present he continues to work as a spy for the CNI. The transcriptions revealed by Perote show Gómez Nieto's direct participation in the torture and death of Lasa and Zabala, ending up in prison, although was later taken out of the case.

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