Spain refuses war criminal extradition

Spain's National Court in Madrid has made the ruling.

Spain’s National Court in Madrid has denied a request for alleged war criminal Jesus Muñecas Aguilar, 75, to face a human rights trial in Argentina.


The Franco-era suspect is alleged to have tortured a prisoner in 1968 at a Barracks in Spain’s northern Basque region.

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However, the Madrid court has ruled that extraditing the former policeman on torture charges is no longer viable as the statute of limitations on torture had expired.

They also stressed the fact that Muñecas Aguilar has no links to Argentina.

The court highlighted the fact that in Spain the crime of torture has a statute of limitation of 10 years.   

Muñecas Aguilar, a former Guardia Civil captain, has denied any involvement and told the court that he does not know his alleged victim.

An Argentinean judge sought to extradite him under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows certain human rights abuses to be tried elsewhere if investigations have been deemed unsatisfactory.    

Spanish State Prosecutor, Pedro Martinez, has opposed the extradition but has said that if Argentina is determined to prosecute they should do so through the Spanish courts.

However, following the Franco dictatorship, Spain accepted a 1977 amnesty law covering the Spanish Civil War in an attempt to unify the country and begin the post-Franco healing process. 


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