Italy convicts Argentines in absentia of '70s 'dirty war' deaths





ROME -- Five former members of Argentina's military were convicted Wednesday of murdering three Italians during the 1970s "dirty war" in the South American country.

A Rome court sentenced the men to life imprisonment, which is Italy's stiffest punishment. But all were tried in absentia, and it wasn't clear Argentina would hand them over...

Four are under arrest in Argentina and face prosecution by federal courts there in connection with deaths and disappearances dating to the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Officials say [Jorge Raul] Vildoza, a former navy captain, remains a fugitive.

During the dictatorship, at least 9,000 Argentines vanished -- and presumably were killed -- as the government rounded up leftist and other anti-government activists. Human rights groups put the figure at 30,000.

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