Friday, 26 June 2009

Paraguay: Dictatorship Official Jailed

After his recent return to Paraguay, Sabino Montanaro is now facing charges of torture and other crimes against humanity. This week, the 86-year old was transferred to prison.
Montanaro’s attorneys are challenging the arrest based on the fact that Paraguay allows defendants over 70 years-old to be in home detention during criminal prosecution. Defense counsel also question whether Montanaro can be prosecuted due his frail physical and mental condition.

Montanaro was transferred from the police hospital amid a strong show of security measures in the face of heated demonstrations by the relatives of those who went missing during the dictatorship.

"This is an historic moment. He is the last link in our fight against impunity", said Guillermina Kanonikoff, the widow of Mario Schaerer Prono. Schaerer Prono was a member of a clandestine student organization that opposed Stroessner. He was captured, tortured and killed. Kanonikoff added that the former minister was part of a regime that decided "who lived, who died and who disappeared."

After 12 Years on the Run, Former Minister in Prison for Crimes against Humanity (Impunity Watch)

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