Adolfo Scilingo: 640 years in prison

A Madrid court sentenced a former military officer from Argentina to 640 years in prison yesterday in what human rights groups say is the first successful application of international law in Spain.

Adolfo Scilingo was charged over his role in the detention, torture and assassination of prisoners during the early months of the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina when he served as an officer in a naval engineering school in &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Buenos Aires.

His sentencing marks the conclusion of the first case under which a Spanish court has been allowed to prosecute someone for human rights violations not directly affecting its own citizens. It follows landmark rulings on jurisdiction by state prosecutors and courts in Spain and Argentina during the past two years, reports FT News.

Argentines who lost loved ones in the campaign against dissent some wore clothes bearing stickers with photos of victims hugged each other and cried with relief after the landmark ruling was read out against 58-year-old &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Adolfo Scilingo.

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