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The French court gives a month to decide on the extradition of Mario Sandoval to Argentina

The court of appeal of Versailles has started to consider on Thursday the extradition request of former police officer, franco-argentinian accused of crimes against humanity during the dictatorship.

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The French court gives a month to decide on the extradition of Mario Sandoval to Argentina

The Versailles appeal court has begun to examine Thursday extradition request of former police officer, franco-argentinian accused of crimes against humanity during dictatorship.

In a hearing room packed full of placards with image of Hernan Abriata, a young, militant argentine sequestered in 1976 by police during military dictatorship (1976-1983), Versailles court of appeal has handed over to October 19 its decision on fate of Mario Sandoval. It has been five years that Argentina demands for extradition of this former police officer, argentine, living in Paris since 1985 and naturalized French in 1997, suspected of having participated in a hundred crimes under orders of regime of general Jorge Videla – that removal of Hernan Abriata. He continued to Buenos Aires for " crimes against humanity, deprivation of liberty and torture resulting in death ".

During hearing, Thursday, September 14, Mr. Sandoval was denied umpteenth time, accusations on which to base request for extradition was requested in march 2012 by judge Sergio Torres, in charge of so-called case " of School of mechanics of navy ", a centre of detention and torture by military junta, where some five thousand of protesters have gone.

Mobilization à hearing of Versailles, décidera of #extradition #Sandoval in #Argentina for &welcome to join; https://t.co/zFE8q6LYws

— Karine_Bonneau_ (@Karine Bonneau)

As he had done before court of appeal of Paris in 2014, and before Court of cassation in 2015, defence counsel, Me Bertrand Lampidès, insisted in particular on sis of homonymy : his client would not be executioner that Argentina claims. Buenos Aires provides and yet be presented in front of French justice system number of elements that would prove contrary, including her identity document, pictures and his old personal folder within police, when he was an officer.

The "enforced disappearance" is not in penal code

The extradition had been authorized by of investigation chamber of Paris court of appeal in may 2014, and n slowed down by a judgment of Court of cassation in February 2015 and returned to court of appeal of Versailles to be re-examined. What was debate between judges : "enforced disappearance" — defined as a crime against humanity imprescriptible by Argentina and by international convention against enforced disappearance adopted by UN in 2006, of which France is a signatory — does not appear in French penal code.

Read also :   The French court must decide on extradition to Argentina for an alleged torturer

" The hearing [on 14 September] went very well. The chairperson gave a summary excellent, which suggests that it is very sensitive to folder ", felt his side Me Sophie Thonon-Wesfreid, lawyer of argentine State, showing that y were optimistic about possibility of a favourable opinion from court on 19 October. This opinion will probably not be definitive, warned lawyer, because Mr. Sandoval can still enter or bodies such as Council of State to avoid appearing in front of justice of argentina.

The 8th of September, teachers-researchers of Institute of high studies of Latin America — where Mario Sandoval has given lectures about international relations between 1999 and 2005, has addressed a letter to court of appeal of Versailles, to ask him to authorize his extradition. "We regret that Mr. Mario Alfredo Sandoval, who enjoyed complete impunity after fall of dictatorship, has been led in past to teach Iheal as an outsider, y write. This is contrary to whole history of Iheal, which has hosted many exiles from authoritarian regimes in Latin america and continues to be a refuge from all persecution. "

On may 22, family of Hernan Abriata had also submitted a letter to French ambassador in Buenos Aires, asking Emmanuel Macron to intercede for Mario Sandoval responds to accusations against him before justice, argentina.

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