An Italian priest sought by Argentina on charges of murder and torture during its last military dictatorship will be extradited, a lawyer has confirmed.
Reverend Franco Reverberi, 86, served as a military chaplain during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship.
The priest is wanted for trial in Argentina for charges including aiding and abetting the 1976 killing of 22-year-old Jose Guillermo Beron and conspiring with the military to torture several other men. The incident allegedly took place in the town of San Rafael, near Mendoza.
Italy’s top criminal court rejected his appeal and has confirmed his extradition, Arturo Salerni, who represented Argentina in the case, told The Associated Press.
He said the decision by Italy’s Court of Cassation confirms a previous ruling by a Bologna appeal court and is now definitive.
Italian justice minister, Carlo Nordio, now has 45 days to issue a decree that requests the extradition of Rev Reverberi.
“The battle for truth and justice that has been conducted primarily by the families of the victims of the terrible years of the Argentine dictatorship reached another important result,” Mr Salerni said.
“This decision affirms a universal jurisdiction on the violations of human rights.”
Rev Reverberi currently lives in Sorbolo, a small town in Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region, where he was born.
He emigrated from Italy to Argentina when he was about seven years old.
He left Argentina in 2011 after the first trial for crimes against humanity carried out during the dictatorship took place in the western Mendoza province and the testimonies of survivors and family members began to point to his responsibility.
Human rights activists say as many as 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship.
Written by: Newsroom