Former Argentine army chief sentenced to life in 'dirty war' trial

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A court sentenced one of Argentina's most feared former military leaders to life in prison on Thursday for the 1977 kidnapping, torture and killing of four leftist activists.

Luciano Benjamin Menendez, 81, was commander of the regional Third Army Corps in Cordoba for five years during Argentina's 1976-83 military dictatorship and controlled one of the regime's most notorious torture centers.

Hours before the sentencing, an unrepentant Menendez read a statement in front of television cameras in the courtroom saying the regime's repression had been justified in the face of a leftist militant threat.

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