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Argentina judge revokes 'dirty war' amnesties as unconstitutional

[JURIST] An Argentinean federal judge Wednesday declared amnesties granted to two members of Argentina's previous military dictatorship to be unconstitutional, saying the two men must serve out their life sentences in prison. Former military President Jorge Videla and former Navy chief Eduardo Massera [TrialWatch profiles] were convicted in 1985 of crimes against humanity committed during Argentina's 1976-1983 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive], but were granted amnesties five years later by President Carlos Menem. Wednesday's decision will likely be appealed. AP has more.

After a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that struck down amnesty laws adopted in the 1980s, the Argentinean government has reopened hundreds of human rights cases. In March, an Argentinean judge ruled [JURIST report] that former president Reynaldo Bignone will face criminal charges for his alleged role in "Dirty War" disappearances and human rights abuses. In February, Argentina requested that Spain extradite [JURIST report] former Argentinean President Isabel Peron in connection to an investigation into Peron's alleged involvement in the disappearance of political opponent Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego at the outset of the abuses in 1976.

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