Two Sentenced, Three Absolved in Argentine "Dirty War" Trial





Buenos Aires, Argentina - A federal court in Buenos Aires on October 23 convicted two former army officials - Jorge Olivera Rovere and Jose Menendez - to life sentences, for crimes committed during Argentina's "Dirty War." Rovere, 83, was commander of the city of Buenos Aires for the army during the first year of the last military dictatorship in Argentina in 1976. Official government reports say that just fewer than 9,000 people were forcibly disappeared during the last dictatorship, which ruled until 1983.

Three other defendants in the case, Teofilio Saa, Humberto Lobaiza and Felipe Alespeiti, who together were charged with 114 counts of kidnapping, were absolved.

Since 2003, when Argentina's Congress repealed several amnesty laws from the 1980s passed during democratic transition, which has protected officials from prosecution, more than 560 officials have been indicted. Before the verdict on October 23, just over 60 officials had been convicted, and three had been absolved. The case doubles the number of officials who have been found not guilty.



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