A Spanish doctor is to be extradited on charges that he helped the military torture prisoners during a right-wing dictatorial movement in the 1970s.
The country’s High Court approved the extradition of doctor Carlos Américo Suzacq to Uruguay at the request of a Montevideo court.
It came after the testimony of eight victims who alleged that the doctor advised the military when to stop or continue the torture in a detention center of the 6th Mechanized Cavalry Regiment in Montevideo between 1972 and 1975.
“Even taking into account that more than 40 years have elapsed since the denounced facts… the nature and seriousness of these facts, as well as the need to prevent them from remaining unpunished, leads this court to grant the extradition request,” the Spanish court said in its verdict.
He cited alleged crimes of abuse of authority against detainees, serious injuries and illegal deprivation of liberty, which are classified as crimes against humanity.
The doctor opposed his extradition, claiming that he had Spanish citizenship, which he obtained by marriage in 1978.
He also said he had roots in Spain since 1977, when he went into exile and took up residence in the Iberian country, working as a doctor.
Suzacq also claimed that a statute of limitations existed since Spain introduced crimes against humanity and torture into its penal code many years later.
Some 200 Uruguayans were kidnapped and killed during the 1973-1985 dictatorship in the South American country, while thousands were thrown into jails where many were tortured.
While a 1986 amnesty law protected most officers from prosecution, legislation passed in 2011 made new rights trials possible since rights-related offenses would not be subject to a statute of limitations.