SPANISH prosecutors are pursuing prosecutions later this month against more than 40 people they claim were linked to the dissolved Basque independence group ETA.

They are seeking sentences totalling more than 600 years for all the 47 accused.

ETA ceased its armed activity in 2011 and became finally defunct last year, but the defendants – among them lawyers for ETA prisoners, psychologists and others who were in contact with them and members of various aid groups – are accused of actively being part of a terrorist organisation and financing terrorism.

One of those arrested, lawyer Amaia Izko, said the group Herrira, was among those involved, but it had emerged from the Pro Amnesty Movement, which demanded the release of all ETA prisoners.

“Herrira made a work of social activation for the rights of prisoners and with the aim of moving towards coexistence and mobilising society in the most transversal way possible,” he said.

“This started to be quite successful and sectors that had not done anything until then started moving.

“The state reacted against it and began arresting people who are part of the group.”

Spain’s Civil Guard has carried out numerous operations and made a number of arrests, but Izko denied any link with ETA: “Our defence papers say that there is not, in all cases, a single document that relates us to ETA.

“The Civil Guard … recognises that there is no document that can link the current reality with ETA.”