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Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 15:43 UK

'Dirty war pilot' lands in Argentina

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

A pilot held in Spain over his alleged role in Argentina's "Dirty War" has landed back in Argentina.

Julio Alberto Poch, an airline pilot, was extradited after spending several months in custody in Madrid.

He is wanted in Argentina for allegedly flying planes used to dump opponents of the military regime into the sea - known as "death flights".

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

A Spanish court agreed to his extradition in January this year, saying at the time there were sufficient guarantees to ensure he would have a fair trial in Argentina.

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

Mr Poch was held during a short stopover at Valencia's Manises airport on 22 September 2009, while flying an aircraft for Dutch Transavia airlines, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.

Mr Poch, who has dual Dutch and Argentine nationality, 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.

Argentina issued an international arrest warrant for his capture in March 2009.

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



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SEE ALSO
Extradition for 'dirty war' pilot
18 Jan 10 |  Americas
Jail ruling for 'dirty war' pilot
06 Oct 09 |  Americas
'Dirty war pilot' held in Spain
23 Sep 09 |  Americas
Argentine court overturns pardon
13 Jul 07 |  Americas
Q&A: Argentina's grim past
14 Jun 05 |  Americas
Timeline: Argentina
10 Jul 12 |  Country profiles



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