Argentina tries ex-chaplain on "dirty war" crimes

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A former police chaplain accused of involvement in torture, kidnapping and murder during Argentina's "dirty war" declined to testify on Thursday as he went on trial in the first case linking a clergyman to rights abuses.

Roman Catholic priest Christian Von Wernich tended to the notorious Buenos Aires provincial police force at a time when leftist dissidents of the 1976-1983 military dictatorship were routinely abducted, maimed and killed.

Rights activists accuse him of visiting clandestine detention centres and pressuring torture victims to talk.

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