Former Argentine military leader Jorge Rafael Videla has been charged with an additional 49 cases of kidnapping, torture and murder. He will also be tried in September for stealing 33 babies of political opponents.
By Lula Ahrens
Videla, who ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1981, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for human rights abuses committed during Argentina’s Dirty War, including the murders of 66 people and the torture of 93 others.
Most of the latest charges are related to the discovery of human remains by forensic experts in unmarked graves in cemeteries across Buenos Aires. Among them was the body of Rolf Stawowiok, an Argentina-born German citizen who vanished in 1978 at the age of 20. A German court issued an arrest warrant for Videla, but German prosecutors say it is unlikely he will be extradited.
Videla has to appear in court later this month in the city of Cordoba to account for the torture and murder of 32 political prisoners in a separate case.
A trial date for the new charges has not yet been set.
Videla served only five years of his life sentence after then-president Carlos Menem granted him a pardon. Last year, a court ruled that the 1990 pardon was unconstitutional and he was returned to prison.
Tens of thousands of people were disappeared and murdered during Argentina’s Dirty War.