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First in international law

The week's news at a glance.

Madrid

A Spanish court this week convicted an Argentine man of crimes against humanity committed in Argentina—the first conviction under Spain’s “universal jurisdiction” laws. Adolfo Scilingo, 58, is expected to serve the maximum 30 years allowed of his 640-year sentence for kidnapping, torture, and murder—including throwing leftist activists from airplanes. From 1976 to 1983, the military regime killed up to 30,000 leftists, but most of the perpetrators got off in a general amnesty. Scilingo voluntarily went to Spain to testify about abuses he had seen, only to find that Spain’s new laws asserted a right to prosecute foreigners for crimes committed abroad.

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