9 Nov 2010

Former Argentine military ruler dies

2:50 pm on 9 November 2010

Former Argentine military ruler Emilio Massera has died at the age of 85 after a long illness.

The former admiral was one of the three-man military junta to rule Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

Mr Massera was convicted of the torture and murder of civilians during Argentina's so-called Dirty War, the BBC reports.

He was placed under house arrest but avoided prosecution on further charges after a court ruled he was too ill to stand trial.

Germany, Spain, Italy and France had also sought his extradition over the killing of their citizens during military rule in Argentina.

As commander of the Navy, Emilio Massera helped lead the coup that toppled President Isabel Eva Peron in 1976 at a time of rising political violence.

Led by General Jorge Videla, the junta launched a campaign of oppression against left-wing opposition groups.