BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 11:54 GMT
Argentine sues 'Dirty War' couple
Maria Eugenia Sampallo Barragan leaves a federal court building at the start of the hearing in February
Ms Sampallo discovered her true identity in 2001
A woman whose parents disappeared during military rule in Argentina wants the couple who adopted her to be jailed for kidnap and concealment.

Maria Eugenia Sampallo Barragan, born in a clandestine torture camp 30 years ago, is the first "Dirty War" child to bring such a case before the courts.

Her lawyers said they would seek the maximum 25-year term for the couple, who begin their defence later in March.

It is believed some 200 children were given to families with military links.

Ms Sampallo has accused Osvaldo Rivas and Maria Cristina Gomez Pinto of kidnapping her and falsifying documents to conceal her identity.

A former army captain, Enrique Berthier, is also a defendant in the hearing which began in February and is expected to conclude in a few weeks' time.

He is accused of taking the infant Ms Sampallo from her mother and giving her to the couple, who registered her as their own daughter.

DNA tests

"The charges against them are very serious. All deserve the maximum allowed by law - 25 years," Ms Sampallo's lawyer, Tomas Ojea Quintana, said outside the court on Tuesday.

Ms Sampallo said she believed her decision to sue was important "for all of society and for the rest of the children in my situation."

In 2001, as a result of DNA tests, she learned that she was the daughter of missing political prisoners Mirta Mabel Barrgan and Leonardo Ruben Sampallo.

The defendants have not commented publicly on the case, the Associated Press reports.

Between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during military rule from 1976 to 1983.

During this period, Argentina's military rulers carried out illegal detentions, torture and executions of alleged left-wing opponents. Many of the bodies have never been recovered.



SEE ALSO
Death jolts Argentine baby trial
26 Feb 08 |  Americas
Argentine group re-unites family
21 Oct 04 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific