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France extradites Argentinian 'torturer' Mario Sandoval

In this file photo taken in April, 2014, Beatriz Cantarini de Abriata, mother of missing architecture student Hernan Abriata, holds a portrait of her son while others hold portraits of former police officer Mario Sandoval.
In this file photo taken in April, 2014, Beatriz Cantarini de Abriata, mother of missing architecture student Hernan Abriata, holds a portrait of her son while others hold portraits of former police officer Mario Sandoval. DANIEL GARCIA / AFP
2 min

France has extradited a former Argentinian police officer accused of crimes against humanity during his country’s “dirty war” in the 1970s and 80s.

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Mario Sandoval was on Monday bound for Buenos Aires under escort aboard an Air France flight from Paris, after French authorities finally approved his extradition following an eight-year legal battle.

The 66-year-old, who is linked to the murder of hundreds of people, will face trial over the torture and disappearance of a student.

Sandoval had been living in France since 1985, having relocated to Europe following the fall of Argentina’s military dictatorship. He obtained French citizenship in 1997.

Argentinian prosecutors accuse him of more than 600 human rights violations, including kidnappings, torture and murder.

His extradition, however, only concerns the alleged kidnapping in of architecture student Hernan Abriata, who has not been seen since October 1976.

Sandoval was arrested on Wednesday at his home near Paris.

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