Spain: Basque separatists plead guilty to ETA links

Spain's National Court has handed down light sentences to 35 members of three outlawed Basque separatist political groups after they reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to charges of being members of the armed group ETA.

The court said Thursday the sentences range from 18 to 24 months and include a ban on holding public office for the duration.

The accused — members of the Batasuna party and two offshoots — recently signed a statement admitting to the charges and promising to renounce violence as a means of making some redress to ETA's victims.

They initially faced sentences of up to 10 years.

ETA, which killed 829 people during a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque state, announced a permanent cease-fire in 2011 but has not disarmed.