A SPANISH court has seized the passports of two former policemen wanted by Argentina for torture during the Franco regime.
The two are targets of an extradition request from Argentine judge Maria Servini who is using international human rights law to investigate possible crimes against humanity while Spain upholds an amnesty for Franco-era officials.
The two elderly men must report to the court weekly in a ruling seen as the first step in any extradition process.
One of the men, Antonio Gonzalez, known as “Billy the Kid”, is accused of torturing 13 people between 1971 and 1975, crimes that could net him up to 25 years in jail under Argentine law. The other, Jesus Munecas, is accused of torturing one person.
Spain has yet to decide whether it will turn them over to Argentina. Spain’s right and left parties agreed to draw a curtain on history after the 1975 death of Franco in a “Pact of Forgetting” that was given legal basis in a 1977 amnesty law.
Argentina is turning the tables on Spain by using the international law that Spain itself used in 2005 to prosecute a member of Argentina’s former military dictatorship in Spanish courts for crimes against humanity.