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Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Spanish judge holds Argentine ex-officer
A judge in Spain has placed in detention a former Argentine navy officer, Adolfo Scilingo, on charges of deaths and disappearances arising from military rule in Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

The judge, Baltasar Garzon, who has spearheaded a number of human rights test cases, said he had no choice but to detain Mr Scilingo because he posed a serious risk of fleeing.

Mr Scilingo went to Madrid in 1997 voluntarily to give evidence in an investigation into the killing of dissidents.

But he later retracted his testimony when he was charged over the deaths. Under Spanish law, he can be charged in Spain even though the alleged offences were committed in another country.

The same principle was used by Judge Garzon to pursue the former Chilean military leader, General Augusto Pinochet.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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