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Priests' life sentence for murder


A Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to life in prison for collaborating in murders, kidnappings and torture during Argentina's 1976-1983 military
dictatorship.

Christian Von Wernich, 69, was chaplain to the Buenos Aires police force.

As reported in SBS World News, Von Wernich has been convicted for using this position to obtain confessions from prisoners, which he then passed on to police who tortured them at secret detention centres.

The priest was convicted for complicity in seven killings, 31 cases of torture and 42 abductions in the Buenos Aires region.

Von Wernich displayed no emotion as he heard the sentence.

Testifying earlier in his defence, he accused the witnesses - survivors of the torture chambers - of being possessed by the devil.

His sentence came at the end of a three-month trial in the town of La Plata, 57 kilometres south of Buenos Aires.

Hundreds of people following the trial celebrated the sentence with songs, by setting off fireworks, and by torching an effigy of Von Wernich.

The Catholic Church has said nothing on the case.

SOURCE
Priest jailed over killings (SBS World News, 10/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Wikipedia - Christian Von Wernich
Trial Watch
ARCHIVE
Argentinian priest on trial over dictatorship murders (CathNews, 06/07/07)

11 Oct 2007