Wednesday, December 26th 2012 - 06:35 UTC

Life sentence for Argentine civilian minister who worked with the military dictatorship

An Argentine federal court handed down life sentences on Dec. 19 to former Buenos Aires province interior minister Jaime Smart (1976-1979), former Buenos Aires province police investigations director Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz and 14 former police and military personnel for genocide and crimes against humanity in the cases of 280 people detained during the 1976-1983 “dirty war” against suspected leftists.

Jaime Smart was Province of Buenos Aires Minister of Interior from 1976 to 1979

Another seven police agents and civilians were given sentences of two to 25 years.

Smart, the first civilian minister sentenced for crimes committed under Argentina's military dictatorship, was convicted of the murder of Jorge Rubinstein, attorney for the banker David Graiver, and the illegal deprivation of liberty of 43 people.

Etchecolatz was convicted of the murders of 12 people and the torture and illegal deprivation of liberty of 101 people; he had already been sentenced to life in prison in September 2006 in another case.

The prosecution held that the two men were responsible for setting up six illegal detention centers at which detainees were tortured and murdered. Among the cases considered during the trial were the presumed murders of six high school students, the subject of the film “La Noche de los Lápices” (“The night of the pencils”), and the detention and torture during two and a half years of the popular journalist Jacobo Timerman, who was then the editor of the left-leaning newspaper La Opinion.

One of his sons, current foreign minister Héctor Timerman, was present during the sentencing.

Etchecolatz protested his sentence by holding up a sign reading “Judgment and punishment for the corrupt justice system”.

He was removed from the courtroom while members of the public shouted “murderer” and accused him of genocide, Dec. 19.

12 comments Feed

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1 emerald (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 10:34 am Report abuse
Think !

reply below questions

* Where do some terror elements hidden in Argentina institutions ?

* Which countries do “ desaparecidos” live under which names ?
2 windy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 11:21 am Report abuse
Well done Argentina for locking up these scumbags. I walked with the Mothers of the Plaza De Mayo two weeks ago. A very moving expieriance.
I only wish in Britain we would bring Tony Blair jack straw and co to trial for the Iraq war and its crimes against humanity.
3 ChrisR (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 12:58 pm Report abuse
“and the detention and torture during two and a half years of the popular journalist Jacobo Timerman, who was then the editor of the left-leaning newspaper La Opinion. One of his sons, current foreign minister Héctor Timerman, was present during the sentencing.”

And I imagine he is spinning in his grave over his 'son' and his antics.
4 jkw (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 01:09 pm Report abuse have reaped a whirlwind with your actions regarding Repsol....the IMF and WorldBank jackals and consultants will rake your nation's underbelly with their poisonous claws as their global corporate clients rub their fat swollen hands in glee at the thought of once more disappearing those who resist--Anyone in Argentina who forgets who was doing what to whom is hiding their heads in the sand--those people hate you and always will hate you for having challenged their self-anointed hereditary colonialesque power over I read the anti-Argentine comments to the articles in Mercopress, it is apparent that there are those who are playing at being UK anti-Argentine agitators....the UK is interested in trade with South America....It is not interested in portraying itself as a neocolonial bully....which is precisely what the “brit” anti-Argentine rhetoric is designed to do....
5 Conqueror (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 02:55 pm Report abuse
Well done, argieland. You have just convicted and handed out custodial sentences to 16 people. What about the other 41,281,600 war criminals? You remember them. All the ones seen dancing in the streets on 2 April 1982. All engaged in a conspiracy to commit war crimes. There's another way to identify those culpable. All those argies that get on this board and continue their illegal, illegitimate and invalid claims to our Falkland Islands. And therefore culpable. Culpable for the murder of 255 British servicemen and 3 Falkland Islanders!
6 ptolemy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
The Mothers of the Plaza De Mayo are not an organization as clean as you would like to think but I'm glad you had a “A very moving experience.” Why do you come here to protest and not in your own country?
7 Optimus_Princeps (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 01:26 am Report abuse
Cristina's motives are never clean. This is just a popularity boost. If she cared about putting criminals away, she wouldn't hide every time a wave of murders happen today.
8 emerald (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 06:15 pm Report abuse
Where is that “ Colorado Owl ” ?
9 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 01:03 pm Report abuse
Good news, well done Cristina =)

#2 Wells said!

#3 Why, it seems he was persecuted for being a leftist, and now his son has taken the policy he struggled for into the heart of government, surely cause for celebration?!
10 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 07:20 pm Report abuse
Let's wait until they are so old they look forward to being in jail. Nice arrangement the Junta leaders made .
11 emerald (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 06:11 pm Report abuse
grow up !
normally and practically and technically the civilians and their courts can not judge the soldiers.
12 ChrisR (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 09:13 pm Report abuse
11 emerald

You still seem unable to read properly, judging by your post.

Jaime Smart was a politician and is most certainly within the scope of civil justice.

Also, it very much depends on the judicial system of the country as to whether the military can be tried in ‘civil’ courts.

AG of course seems able to move the goalposts to suit themselves.

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