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An Argentinian judge investigating cases that arose during the Franco dictatorship in Spain has indicted a former Spanish minister with four counts of homicide.

Judge Maria Servini of Cuba, sitting in Buenos Aires, rendered the ruling against Rodolfo Martín Villa, 87, Minister of the Interior between 1976 and 1979.

The judge wrote that she considered Martín Villa “the prima facie perpetrator criminally responsible for the crime of aggravated homicide, repeated at least four times, including Pedro María Martínez Ocio, Romualdo Barroso Chaparro, Francisco Aznar Clemente and Germán Rodríguez Saíz have been victims “.

Martín Villa told Spanish newspaper ABC: “I am calm. I will appeal.

Spain passed an amnesty law in 1977 that pardoned crimes committed by the Franco dictatorship.

Hundreds of Spaniards have tried to get around this problem by turning to an Argentine court, under the principle of universal justice, to try the crimes committed against them and their families during the 36-year right-wing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Franco ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975.

Servini wrote that Martín Villa played a key role in the repressive structures of the dictatorship, which continued in the years immediately following Franco’s death in 1975.

“This is excellent news for the victims, who have been claiming for many years,” said Máximo Castex, lawyer for relatives of the victims.

The judge ordered the detention of Martín Villa, who lives in Madrid, but said it was unlikely.

Fernando Goldaracena, the ex-minister’s lawyer, did not respond to requests for comment.

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