SANTIAGO – The two Chilean anarchists convicted of planting a bomb four years ago in Spain returned home Tuesday after being deported by Spanish authorities.
Francisco Solar and Monica Caballero, who were convicted of planting a bomb at the Basilica of Pilar in the northeastern Spanish city of Zaragoza in October 2013, were sent home before completing their sentences.
The Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s high court, issued a ruling Monday that the couple could be deported, judicial officials said.
Solar and Caballero did not speak with reporters on arrival in Santiago, where they were welcomed home by relatives.
Family members hustled the pair out of the airport, preventing the press from approaching them.
Solar and Caballero have been banned from returning to Spain for eight years.
The bombing damaged the church and caused a woman who was inside to experience hearing loss.
Solar and Caballero, who received 54-month prison sentences, waged a long legal battle, demanding that Article 89 of the Spanish Criminal Code be applied in their cases.
Article 89 allows foreigners sentenced to more than one year in prison to request that their sentences be replaced by deportation from Spain.
The Audiencia Nacional, which handles terrorism cases, initially handed down 12-year prison sentences, but the Tribunal Supremo reduced the sentences on the grounds that no cultural or historic property was damaged by the blast.
Solar and Caballero, who got married and took classes while in prison, are now completely free since no charges are pending against them in Chile.
In 2012, the couple was acquitted in separate bombing cases in Chile.
Prosecutors had charged Solar with participating in the bombing of the ANI intelligence agency and the Council for the Defense of the State (CDE).
Caballero, for her part, was charged with planting a bomb at the entrance to the Los Sacramentinos Church in downtown Santiago in 2009.
Solar and Caballero met during the trial in Chile and fell in love.