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Former Argentina general sentenced to life for 'Dirty War' crimes

An Argentine court in Buenos Aires sentenced former military general Reynaldo Bignone [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the nation's 1976-1983 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In addition, the 85-year-old general is serving other jail sentences [BBC report] for related crimes committed during the "Dirty War." Bignone along with four other former soldiers was found guilty of crimes committed against 23 victims. Argentina continues to prosecute those accused of committing human rights abuses during the "Dirty War."

In March 2011 an Argentine court commenced the trial [JURIST report] of former dictators Jorge Videla [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] and Bignonevfor allegedly overseeing a systematic plan to steal babies born to political prisoners during the "Dirty War." The two were accused in 34 separate cases of infants who were taken from mothers held in clandestine torture and detention centers, the Navy Mechanics School and Campo de Mayo army base. The case was opened 14 years ago at the request of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and includes as defendants five military judges and a doctor who attended to the detainees. In December 2010, Videla was sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] for crimes against humanity.

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