Developments in Guatemala trial of Rios Montt


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GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - In 1999: Guatemalan non-governmental organization Association for Justice and Reconciliation files a complaint against army officials, including former Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, saying they're responsible for killings of thousands of Ixil Mayans during country's 36-year civil war. Victims try for years without success to get courts to act against military officers.

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In 2010: Guatemala's Supreme Court creates "high-risk courts" to try genocide, crimes against humanity, organized crime, other high profile crimes.

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In 2011: Attorney General's office asks Supreme Court to transfer complaint against army officers to newly created "high-risk courts." Guatemala's top court agrees.

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September 2011: Judge Carol Patricia Flores charges retired generals Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez and Luis Enrique Mendoza with genocide. Rios Montt, their former superior, is also accused but cannot be charged because he has immunity from prosecution as congressman.

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November 2011: Lopez Fuentes' defense asks that Judge Flores recuse herself from case, claiming she is biased against him. Judge ignores petition and continues case. Defense files an appeal with another court.

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January 2012: Rios Montt loses immunity after his term as congressman ends. That same month, he is called by Judge Flores to testify is charged with genocide. He posts $80,000 bail to continue process outside prison.

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February 2012: An appeals court rules for Lopez Fuentes' defense and asks Judge Flores to recuse herself from case, which is transferred to Judge Miguel Angel Galvez Aguilar.

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January 2013: After case is delayed by hundreds of defense appeals, Judge Galvez orders Rios Montt to stand trial and sends case to a three-member tribunal comprised of Judge Yassmin Barrios as president, and Judges Pablo Xitumul and Patricia Bustamante.

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February 2013: Rios Montt's defense wins an appeal to add evidence to case. Appeals court never informs Judge Galvez of resolution.

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March 13, 2013: An appeals court rules Judge Flores should take over case but she's never informed of resolution.

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March 19, 2013: Trial against Rios Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez begins.

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April 3, 2013: Constitutional Court orders Judge Galvez to add new evidence in case, saying Rios Montt's defense won an appeal. Galvez says he's no longer in charge of case because an appeals court ordered Judge Flores to take it.

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April 9, 2013: Constitutional Court, ruling on appeal by Rios Montt's defense, orders Judge Barrios to send case to Judge Flores so she can incorporate new evidence.

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April 18, 2012: Judge Flores announces case should go back to where it was in November 2011, before Rios Montt was charged with genocide.

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April 19, 2013: Tribunal in charge of Rios Montt's trial suspends trial and asks Constitutional Court to decide whether it should continue.

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April 22, 2013: Constitutional Court again orders Judge Flores to add new evidence in case.

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April 26, 2013: Judge Flores incorporates new evidence and sends case back to tribunal.

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April 30, 2013: Genocide trial against Rios Montt resumes after 12-day suspension amid appeals.

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May 7, 2013: Closing arguments begin.

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May 9, 2013: Rios Montt testifies for first time during closing arguments, avoiding being questioned by prosecutors and declaring himself innocent.

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May 10, 2013: Three-judge panel finds Rios-Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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