Ar­gentina sen­tences 4 ex-judges for dic­ta­tor­ship-era crimes

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World - Photo: EPA

FOUR for­mer fed­eral judges in Ar­gentina were sen­tenced Wed­nes­day to life in pri­son for crimes against hu­man­ity com­mit­ted dur­ing the coun­try’s last dic­ta­tor­ship in a rul­ing hu­man rights groups are call­ing his­toric for pun­ish­ing the regime’s civil­ian ac­com­plices.

The court in Men­doza province ruled that ex-judges Rolando Car­rizo, Guillermo Pe­tra Re­cabar­ren, Luis Miret and Otilio Ro­mano par­tic­i­pated in kid­nap­pings, tor­ture and mur­ders. The men were tried for their fail­ure to in­ves­ti­gate pe­ti­tions of habeas cor­pus filed by rel­a­tives of dis­si­dents who dis­ap­peared dur­ing the 1976-1983 dic­ta­tor­ship.

Dur­ing the trial, which be­gan in 2014, pros­e­cu­tors asked to change the charges against the four from be­ing ac­com­plices to pri­mary par­tic­i­pants in crimes, ar­gu­ing their in­ac­tion on the pe­ti­tions pre­ceded the dis­ap­pear­ance of more than 20 dis­si­dents.

“HIS­TORIC: mem­bers of the ju­di­cial body of state ter­ror­ism sen­tenced to life,” read a tweet from the group Sons And Daugh­ters For Iden­tity And Jus­tice Against For­get­ful­ness And Si­lence.

Other hu­man rights groups like the Grand­moth­ers of the Plaza de Mayo also ex­pressed their sat­is­fac­tion with the sen­tence since they had long been de­mand­ing jus­tice for the civil­ian ac­com­plices of the mil­i­tary regime.

One of the judges, Ro­mano, served on the Men­doza Fed­eral Cham­ber un­til his dis­missal in 2011. He fled to Chile but was ex­tra­dited back to Ar­gentina in 2013.

Of­fi­cial es­ti­mates say about 7,600 peo­ple were killed or dis­ap­peared dur­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship, but rights ac­tivists be­lieve the num­ber was ac­tu­ally as high as 30,000. – AP

For­mer Ar­gen­tine Judge Otilio Ro­mano ( cen­ter) is es­corted by po­lice out of court in San­ti­ago in August 2013. Photo: AP

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