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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Argentine ex-ruler to go on trial
Reynaldo Bignone (Photo: La Nacion Archive)
Mr Bignone denies the accusation (Photo: La Nacion Archive)
Argentina's last military ruler is to stand trial on charges of kidnapping babies of parents who were killed or who disappeared under military rule.

Reynaldo Bignone is accused with six ex-officers of giving the children to members of the armed forces illegally.

Mr Bignone, the de facto president from 1982-1983, denies the charges.

It will be the first time ex-members of the military junta face court since the trial of former rulers in 1985, correspondents say.

'Invention'

The charges include "taking, retaining and hiding minors and changing their identities", according to the ruling.

During military rule, many children and babies were allegedly taken from prisoners and given for adoption to military or police couples.

Last month, Mr Bignone was arrested as part of an investigation into human rights abuses.

Mr Bignone has denied any involvement in the disappearance of dissidents and previously described the kidnapping accusations as an "invention".

Human rights groups say some 30,000 people died or disappeared during what became known as the Dirty War.

They say at least 500 children were "stolen" under military rule.

Argentina was ruled by the military from 1976 to 1983.


SEE ALSO
Argentine ex-military ruler held
09 Mar 07 |  Americas
Fear for lost 'Dirty War' witness
28 Sep 06 |  Americas
Argentina ex-president testifies
30 Aug 06 |  Americas
Argentine jailed over 'Dirty War'
05 Aug 06 |  Americas
Argentina marks coup anniversary
24 Mar 06 |  Americas

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