May 20, 2013

Rios Montt's conviction annulled

Guatemala's top court annuls Rios Montt genocide conviction

By Mike McDonaldGuatemala's highest court on Monday overturned a genocide conviction against former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and reset his trial back to when a dispute broke out a month ago over who should hear the case.

Rios Montt, 86, was found guilty on May 10 of overseeing the killings by the armed forces of at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil population during his 1982-83 rule. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

However, in a ruling on Monday, the country's Constitutional Court ordered that all the proceedings be voided going back to April 19, when one of the presiding judges suspended the trial because of a dispute with another judge over who should hear it.

It was unclear when the trial might restart.
Comment:  The conviction was annulled on technical grounds, not because the case against Rios Montt was flawed. Of course, the technical grounds could be a pretext--the judges' excuse for protecting one of their fellow elites. I guess we won't know until there's a final verdict that isn't overturned or annulled.

For more on Rios Montt, see Rios Montt Found Guilty of Genocide and Guatemalan Strongman Charged with Genocide.

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

New Trial for Rios Montt Could Include Info on US Role in His Regime

The U.S. support for the genocidal regime of former Guatemalan dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt could still be part of the information presented in a new trial.

The Constitutional Court of Guatemala overturned the convictions against Rios Montt on Monday, May 20th, returning the proceedings to its status on April 19th of this year due to an unresolved motion involving recusal of judges.