Dutch refuse to try alleged Argentina death pilot

19th December 2009, Comments 1 comment

A Dutch judge Friday turned down a request from a pilot accused of taking part in "death flights" during Argentina's dictatorship to be tried in the Netherlands.

The Hague - A Dutch judge Friday turned down a request from a pilot accused of taking part in "death flights" during Argentina's dictatorship to be tried in the Netherlands.

Julio Alberto Poch, who has Dutch and Argentinian nationality, was arrested in Spain in September and his defence team asked the Dutch authorities to apply for his extradition to the Netherlands.

A court in The Hague ruled against him, saying in a statement: "P's requests are rejected."

Poch, 57, a former lieutenant in the Argentinian navy, is wanted by the South American state over four criminal cases involving crimes committed under the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983.

A preliminary inquiry was opened in 2006 by Dutch prosecutors following witness statements implicating Poch in the "death flights", in which prisoners were drugged and thrown alive from military planes into the sea.

At Buenos Aires' request, police arrested Poch, a pilot for the Dutch low-cost airline Transavia, as he was preparing to take off from Valencia, eastern Spain.

Madrid approved his extradition to Argentina on October 31.

Some 30,000 people went missing during the Argentina's military dictatorship, according to rights groups.

AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Louis Ferdinand von Wetzheim JD posted:

    on 21st December 2009, 15:30:06 - Reply

    Regarding you comment about the situation of an Argentine pilot, who apparently was involved in the murder of certain people during the Military Dictatorship in the 1970’s, I just want to clarify a point. There is no evidence of the assassination or disappearance of 30 thousand people under the dictatorship. Furthermore, the National Commission of Truth, whose members were outstanding intellectuals (Ernesto Sabato the famous novelist was its head), journalists, judges and even people who lost relatives in that period, had searched the whole period at least during three years, they published a document and according with all proves, evidences they concluded that around 4 thousand people were murdered or vanished in that dark period of our history, this was under the presidency of Raul Alfonsin who recently passed away. Only the group of Mrs. Bonafini and some members of the “Madres de Plaza de Mayo” insists that were much more, but never proved their point. Nevertheless, just one people murdered doesn’t justified a crime, but I must point out as well that many of the people who were assassinated or vanished, thousands of these cases happened in times of the Constitutional Government of Mrs. Peron. What I cannot understand is why in Europe most journalists insist in the dirty war in Argentina, and not so much in the 2 millions of Cambodians who were exterminated by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s also. Argentine guerrillas wanted the replacement of our Constitution a Federal system, replacing our system with a Pro Marxist Leninist Government inspired in Cuba, and their crimes (2,500 people) were never judged. This doesn’t mean that the reaction of our armed forces were brutal, but is necessary to tell the whole truth, and especially when former guerrillas are in high places of the Kirchner Administration, including some people like the Minister of Foreign Affaires Jorge Taiana who killed a woman and a two men, in a bar in Buenos Aires in 1977, thinking that he was murdering a navy officer. He was never convicted, a similar case happened with the current Minister of Defence, and others who committed many crimes even before the Coup d’Etat on March 24, 1976.
    Regarding you comment about the situation of an Argentine pilot, who apparently was involved in the murder of certain people during the Military Dictatorship in the 1970’s, I just want to clarify a point. There is no evidence of the assassination or disappearance of 30 thousand people under the dictatorship. Furthermore, the National Commission of Truth, whose members were outstanding intellectuals (Ernesto Sabato the famous novelist was its head), journalists, judges and even people who lost relatives in that period, had searched the whole period at least during three years, they published a document and according with all proves, evidences they concluded that around 4 thousand people were murdered or vanished in that dark period of our history. Only the group of Mrs. Bonafini and some members of the “Madres de Plaza de Mayo” insists that were much more, but never proved their point. Nevertheless, just one people murdered doesn’t justified a crime, but I must point out as well that many of the people who were assassinated or vanished, thousands of these cases happened in times of the Constitutional Government of Mrs. Peron. What I cannot understand is why in Europe most journalists insist in the dirty war in Argentina, and not so much in the 2 millions of Cambodians who were exterminated by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s also. Argentine guerrillas wanted the replacement of our Constitution a Federal system, replacing our system with a Pro Marxist Leninist Government inspired in Cuba, and their crimes (2,500 people) were never judged. This doesn’t mean that the reaction of our armed forces were brutal, but is necessary to tell the whole truth, and especially when former guerrillas are in high places of the Kirchner Administration, including some people like the Minister of Foreign Affaires Jorge Taiana who killed a woman and a two men, in a bar in Buenos Aires in 1977, thinking that he was murdering a navy officer. He was never convicted, a similar case happened with the current Minister of Defence, and others who committed many crimes even before the Coup d’Etat on March 24, 1976.