Argentine judge indicts Spanish Franco-era minister on murder charges


FILE PHOTO: Local workers load a statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, the last one remaining in Spain, into a truck after removing it from its location in Melilla, Spain, February 23, 2021.REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda

BARCELONA (Reuters) -An Argentine judge investigating cases stemming from the Franco dictatorship in Spain has indicted a former Spanish minister on four counts of homicide, according to court papers seen by Reuters on Saturday.

Judge Maria Servini de Cuba, sitting in Buenos Aires, issued the ruling against Rodolfo Martin Villa, 87, interior minister between 1976 and 1979.

The judge wrote that she considered Martin Villa "the prima facie perpetrator criminally responsible for the crime of aggravated homicide, repeated on at least four occasions, of which Pedro María Martínez Ocio, Romualdo Barroso Chaparro, Francisco Aznar Clemente and Germán Rodríguez Saíz were victims".

Martin Villa told the Spanish newspaper ABC: "I am calm. I will appeal."

Spain passed an amnesty law in 1977 that pardoned crimes committed by the Franco dictatorship.

Hundreds of Spaniards have tried to get around this by turning to an Argentine court, under the principle of universal justice, to address crimes committed against them and their families during General Francisco Franco's 36-year right-wing dictatorship.

Judge Servini wrote that Martin Villa had played a key role in the repressive structures of the dictatorship, which continued in the years immediately after Franco's death in 1975.

"It is great news for the victims, who have been claiming for many years," said Máximo Castex, a lawyer for the relatives of the victims.

The judge ordered Martin Villa, who lives in Madrid, to be detained but said it was unlikely to happen.

Fernando Goldaracena, the ex-minister's lawyer, did not reply to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Christina Fincher and Kevin Liffey)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Hungarian parliament empowers government to hold referendum on LGBT issues
French far-right commentator Zemmour announces presidential run
With migrants in mind, Pope Francis visits Cyprus
Wife of Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' to face sentencing in U.S. court
Omicron variant was detected in the Netherlands before S. Africa flights
India advises states to step up COVID testing; Mumbai delays school reopening
Germany's incoming finance minister rings alarm bell on inflation
Ukrainians near conflict zone try to guess Putin's next move
Greece to make vaccinations for persons over 60 mandatory, PM says
Japan's first Omicron case may help portray PM Kishida as decisive

Others Also Read


Vouchers