Languages
Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 16:53 UK

Jail ruling for 'dirty war' pilot

Julio Alberto Poch. Handout photo released by Spanish police
Mr Poch denies involvement in so-called "death flights"

A pilot held in Spain over his alleged role in Argentina's "Dirty War" will stay in detention pending a decision on extradition, a Spanish judge has ruled.

Julio Alberto Poch, an airline pilot, has been in custody in Madrid since his arrest last month.

He is wanted in Argentina for allegedly flying planes used to dump opponents of the military regime into the sea. He denies the allegations.

Some 30,000 people disappeared or died during the junta's 1976-1983 rule.

Mr Poch was held during a short stopover at Valencia's Manises airport on 22 September, while flying an aircraft for Dutch Transavia airlines, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.

DIRTY WAR CONVICTIONS
Ex-President Jorge Videla: Serving a 1985 life sentence for the murder, torture and detention of hundreds
Ex-naval officer Adolfo Scilingo: Given 640 years in prison in 2005 for involvement in death flights
Ex-General Santiago Omar Riveros: convicted in 2009 for murder; his intelligence chief and four others jailed
Ex-police chief Miguel Etchecolatz: serving a 2006 life sentence for kidnap, torture and murder

The 57-year-old, who has dual Dutch and Argentine nationalities, is said to have been a military pilot at Argentina's notorious Naval Mechanics School - one of the biggest torture and detention centres of the Argentine military regime.

He is alleged to have been involved in the so-called "death flights", in which political prisoners of Argentina's military were drugged and dumped into the sea from the planes.

Mr Poch's lawyers requested his release at Tuesday's closed-door hearing in a high-security court in Madrid.

Lawyer Ignacio Pelaez Marques told AFP news agency that his client denied ever having been based at the Naval Mechanics School.

Mr Pelaez said the judge had decided his client should remain in custody until a decision was made about extradition to Argentina, because of the gravity of the allegations he faces.

In 2005, Argentina's Supreme Court struck down amnesty laws which had shielded alleged human rights abusers from prosecution.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'Dirty war pilot' held in Spain
23 Sep 09 |  Americas
Argentine court overturns pardon
13 Jul 07 |  Americas
Argentina to open secret archives
23 Mar 06 |  Americas
Q&A: Argentina's grim past
14 Jun 05 |  Americas
Timeline: Argentina
10 Jul 12 |  Country profiles


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

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific