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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Spain requests Cavallo extradition
Roberto Miguel Cavallo
Mr Cavallo says he is a victim of mistaken identity
Spain has asked Mexico to extradite a former Argentine naval officer, Roberto Miguel Cavallo, to face charges of torture and genocide.

The Spanish Government has backed an extradition request by Judge Baltasar Garzon, who is investigating crimes committed against Spaniards by former military governments in Latin America.

Mr Cavallo was detained in Mexico late last month, just before he tried to board a plane for Argentina.

He is accused of torturing and killing opponents of Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship

The President of Argentina, Fernando de la Rua, has said he is opposed to the extradition of Mr Cavallo.

The naval officer would not face prosecution back home under an amnesty scheme for military personnel who served during the dictatorship.

Mexico has the final authority to decide whether Mr Cavallo will be extradited or not.

Human rights groups estimate that about 30,000 people were killed or abducted during military rule in Argentina.

Mr Cavallo has denied his involvement and says he is the victim of mistaken identity and that he played no part in Argentina's "Dirty War".

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See also:

06 Sep 00 | Americas
Argentina opposes extradition plan
01 Sep 00 | Americas
Argentine charged with genocide
27 Aug 00 | Americas
Torture suspect faces extradition
19 Aug 98 | Top features
The Living Disappeared
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