French court refuses Argentina torture suspect extradition

18th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

France's top appeals court on Wednesday ruled against extraditing Mario Alfredo Sandoval, a former policeman wanted by Argentina for torture and rights abuses under the country's military dictatorship.

The Cour de Cassation reversed a decision made last year by another court approving the extradition of Sandoval, who acquired French nationality in the 1980s, and ordered that the case be re-examined.

Sandoval is wanted over the October 1976 kidnapping of a student named Hernan Abriata, who was never found, as well as a slew of other disappearances.

An international arrest warrant was issued for him in 2012 at Argentina's request for torture, kidnappings and murder.

Sandoval denies all the accusations, saying they are all fabricated.

Sophie Thonon-Weisfred, the lawyer representing Argentina, said she was disappointed but still cheered by the fact that the case will be re-examined.

It was not immediately clear why the Cour de Cassation rejected the extradition.

© 2015 AFP

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