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ARGENTINA | 17-12-2019 16:42

Alleged dictatorship torturer Sandoval extradited from France

Former police officer's extradition is a result of diplomatic efforts dating from 2012, says Foreign Ministry.

A former Argentine police officer accused of crimes against humanity arrived in Buenos Aires Monday after being extradited from France to face trial for a murder that occurred during the brutal 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

The extradition of Mario Sandoval was the result of diplomatic efforts dating from 2012 and the involvement of a French lawyer specialising in human rights, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said. 

Sandoval arrived at Ezeiza international airport Monday and was escorted through the building by armed guards and members of the federal police.

Sandoval, a former professor of Latin American Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, is wanted for the 1970s kidnapping and murder of architecture student Hernán Abriatta, and he is a suspect in multiple crimes committed in a clandestine detention centre in a Buenos Aires military base at the time, according to authorities.

Sandoval abducted Abriatta from his home on October 30, 1976, and the police officer identified himself to Abriatta's parents, authorities allege.

Abriatta was held at the military detention centre and witnesses said they last saw him at the beginning of 1977. 

Sandova was allegedly a member of a group of state enforcers that carried out kidnappings and killings during the military dictatorship. After the end of military rule, he moved to France and obtained citizenship there during the 1990s. 

The former police officer became a university professor in France and at one point was an adviser to former French president Nicolás Sarközy, according to local human rights groups. 

Some 30,000 people disappeared during Argentina's last military dictatorship, human rights groups estimate. 

– TIMES/AP

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