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Argentina ex-coast guard officer on trial for 'Dirty War' torture

[JURIST] Former Argentinian coast guard officer Hector Febres went on trial Thursday on charges of kidnapping and torturing four people at the Navy Mechanics School [BBC backgrounder] during Argentina's Dirty War [Global Security backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. If convicted, Febres faces life in prison.

Last week, an Argentinean court sentenced former military chaplain Christian von Wernich [Trial Watch profile; JURIST report] to life imprisonment for participating in seven homicides, 34 cases of torture and 42 cases of kidnapping during the Dirty War. Von Wernich is the third person to be convicted of crimes against humanity after the Argentinean Supreme Court declared amnesty laws passed in the 1990s to be unconstitutional. Former chief police investigator Miguel Etchecolatz [JURIST report] and former police officer Julio Simon were convicted last year of crimes against humanity during the Dirty War. Additionally, a federal court has revoked the pardons [JURIST report] of former military president Jorge Videla and former naval officer Emilio Eduardo Massera [Trial Watch profiles]. Former Argentinian President Reynaldo Bignone [JURIST report] faces trial in the near future, while former naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo [JURIST news archive] faces charges in Spain. AP has more. La Nacion has local coverage.

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