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Judge sentences former dictator Alvarez to 25 years in prison

A judge in Uruguay on Thursday sentenced former leader Gregorio Alvarez to 25 years in prison for 37 "aggravated homicides" and rights violations during his 1981-1985 rule.

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AFP - A judge in Uruguay sentenced former dictator Gregorio Alvarez to 25 years in prison Thursday for murder and rights violations during his 1981-1985 rule, a lawyer said.

Judge Luis Charles handed the sentence to the 82-year-old Alvarez after he was found responsible for 37 "aggravated homicides," said lawyer for the prosecution Oscar Lopez Goldaracena.

Alvarez played a key role in the country's 1973's coup before going on to be commander-in-chief of the army and ultimately the final president of Uruguay's civilian-military dictatorship.

The troubled era saw the disappearance of thousands of political opponents and Alvarez's sentencing came a year after the first dictator of that period, Juan Maria Bordaberry, was also imprisoned for crimes against humanity.

Alvarez has been imprisoned since December 2007 when he was found guilty of kidnapping exiled leftist activists living in Argentina who were sent to Uruguay and executed in 1978.

Sentenced Thursday along with Alvarez was a former navy captain, Juan Carlos Larcebau, who was handed a 20-year term for 29 cases of aggravated homicide, Lopez Goldaracena said.

The lawyer said Alvarez had not been in court to hear his sentence because he said he was ill.
 

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