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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:12 PM

Argentina speeds up trials of leaders of ‘Dirty War’

Posted on Wednesday, 07.25.12
Argentina speeds up trials of leaders of ‘Dirty War’

Almost three decades after the end of the “Dirty War” in Argentina, prosecutors have begun to hold speedy trials before those accused of human rights violations pass away.

By Kyle Younker
Special to The Miami Herald

Buenos Aires, Argentina -- Carlos Lordkipanidse was left inside the courtroom, grasping at thin air.

His torturer, Hector Febres, had been found dead in his jail cell just four days before his sentence was to be handed down, and the hundreds of people that he allegedly tormented at ESMA, the largest clandestine prison during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” would not receive closure from the country’s courts. The case had lasted nine years.

~snip~

Argentina is unique in the region for having acquired hundreds of convictions for crimes against humanity resulting from its period of military rule from 1976-83, such as the recent trial that found former dictator Jorge Videla and eight other officials guilty of systematically stealing babies from suspected leftist dissidents who were later killed or “disappeared” in custody.

Even so, in 2011 alone, 39 suspected and convicted war criminals passed away due to old age and other ailments before their trials could reach completion. In response, the country’s judiciary is expediting trials so that aging officials of the junta are held accountable before they die off.

“The point is to arrive promptly at justice,” said Pedro David, president of the Argentine National Appeals Court, who pushed the reforms through earlier this year. “There were concerns about the length of the trials and the revictimization of witnesses.”

More: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/16/2912628/argentina-speeds-up-trials-of.html#storylink=cpy

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