A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Italy court sentences Argentina ex-military officers for 'Dirty War' crimes

[JURIST] A court in Rome convicted five former officers of the Argentina military Wednesday on charges of torturing, kidnapping and murdering three Italian citizens during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. All five defendants, who were tried in absentia, received life sentences. Argentinean officials have yet to confirm whether they will release the convicted men to Italian authorities. Four of the former officers, Jorge Eduardo Acosta, Alfredo Ignacio Astiz, Hector Antonio Febres and Antonio Vanek, are being held in Argentina on federal charges for various "Dirty War" crimes, while the fifth defendant, Jorge Raul Vildoza, is at large. Several human rights groups applauded the decision, including the Asociacion Madres de Plaza de Mayo [advocacy website, in Spanish].

The decision marks the second guilty verdict [Guardian report] handed down to alleged "Dirty War" criminals by the Italian courts, which have authority to prosecute defendants in absentia for political crimes perpetrated by foreign nationals. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.