Buenos Aires, May 10 (Prensa Latina) Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio will testify as a witness in a trial involving the alleged systematic theft of babies during the last military dictatorship, it was reported Monday.
The resolution was adopted by a federal court, responding to a request by prosecutor Martin Niklison and lawyer Alejo Ramos for the group Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo.
The petition by Niklison and Ramos was based on the request of Estela de la Cuadra, daughter of one of the founders of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who asked the cardinal to intercede in the search for her niece, who was born in a clandestine detention center, the Telam news agency reported.
The president of the court, Maria del Carmen Roqueta, said certain national and provincial officials and dignitaries of the church are not required to appear at the public hearing and can answer written questions from the prosecution and defense.
The trial began on February 28 for the alleged plot to steal babies born to mothers illegally held in captivity during the military dictatorship.
Those involved in the case include ex-dictators Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone and former general Santiago Omar Riveros; former navy captain Jorge “El Tigre” Acosta; former Admiral Antonio Vañek, and former prefect Jorge Antonio Azic.
Other defendants are former sailor Rubén Franco and a doctor for the School of Naval Mechanics (ESMA) Jose Luis Magnacca. All of the suspects are charged with stealing 34 babies born in that institution, in Campo de Mayo and other covert detention centers.
The newborns who were stolen, mostly in the ESMA, were given to couples close to the military, depriving them of their identity.