SIZE Diminuir tamanho da fonte Aumentar tamanho da fonte
Highlights Print

Extradition trial of Argentine former soldier accused of crimes in the dictatorship was started

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The First Chamber of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) this Tuesday (17) began the trial of Extradition (EXT) 1270, requested by the government of Argentina against Gonzalo Sanchez, accused of crimes of murder, torture and private prison. After the vote of the rapporteur, Justice Marco Aurélio, who rejected the request, the analysis of the case was suspended due the request for examination of the case records by Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

The request refers to facts that occurred between 1976 and 1983, when Gonzalo Sanchez was a military of the Argentine Navy. He is accused of being responsible for crimes of unlawful deprivation of persons liberty, aggravated by having been committed by a civil servant with abuse of his functions. He is also accused of the crimes of torture, in the clandestine detention center of the School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA), followed of the denominated "flight of the death", in which militants opposed to the military dictatorship were thrown of airplanes over the Argentine territorial sea or on the River of Silver.

The Government of Argentina states that the crimes of the military dictatorship are considered crimes against humanity and, consequently, would be imprescriptible, according to the Convention on the Imprescriptibility of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons.

The Public Defender of the Union maintains that Sanchez had no participation in the crimes narrated in the request, that the crimes would be political and that the punishment was extinguished by the prescription. The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic has opted for partial acceptance, solely regarding the crime of abduction, since it understands that the offense is permanent when the victims are not found.

In voting for the rejection of the request, Justice Marco Aurélio noted the presence of the duality of the crimes of torture and murder, but considers that, in the Brazilian legal system, these crimes would be prescribed, since the most recent events that Sanchez is accused of would have occurred more than 20 years ago, the maximum period established in the Penal Code. As for the crime of kidnapping, the justice understands that the accusation refers to the disappearance of people, that is, the subtraction of political enemies of the military regimes for their elimination.

In this sense, he pointed out that Law 9.140 / 1995 considers as dead people who have been detained by public agents for having participated or been accused of participating in political activities between September 2, 1996 and October 5, 1988, and who are disappeared since then. For the Justice, the Brazilian law, considering these people as dead, prevents the recognition of the double standard, essential for the acceptance of extradition. He also pointed out that similar events occurred during the military dictatorship are not punishable in Brazil because of the Amnesty Law. "In this way, there is no way to think of the double nature of the kidnapping. The narration of the facts does not allow it to be concluded by symmetry”, he said.

The rapporteur reminded that the process was already on the agenda, but its assessment was suspended because of a request for refuge from the Argentine citizen. Following the communication from the Ministry of Justice on the rejection of the request, the case returns to the Court's order.

Contact us
Praça dos Três Poderes - Brasília - DF - Brazil - Zip Code 70175-900 Phone: 55.61.3217.3000