German federal police officers on Tuesday searched the Berlin home of an Argentinian-German man accused of the kidnapping, torture, and murder of opposition members during Argentina’s military dictatorship.
Berlin’s Public Prosecutor’s Office did not name the suspect, but various media outlets have identified him as 75-year-old Luis Esteban Kyburg.
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office accused the suspect of targeting at least 15 men and women in 1976 and 1977 when he was in command of an elite unit of divers at an Argentine naval base.
“The purpose of today’s search of the accused’s living quarters was to find documents, records and data carriers that shed light on the role of the accused in connection with the ‘disappearances’ of opposition members and their alleged killing,” the statement said.
Kyburg has been the subject of an international arrest warrant, issued by Buenos Aires, for years.
Other military personnel have been convicted for their crimes in Argentina, but Kyburg has escaped prosecution. He fled to Germany in 2013, and Argentine authorities filed an extradition request for him two years later.
But German officials rejected the demand because he is also a German citizen, and therefore cannot be extradited to face trial elsewhere.
Kyburg’s elite unit of divers, “Agrupacion Buzos Tacticos,” allegedly played a key role in targeting government critics. The ex-commander has been accused of being complicit in the murder and abduction of more than 150 people.
Victims were often tortured before being thrown from planes into the sea, either sedated or already dead.
An estimated 30,000 people disappeared in the “dirty war” waged by Argentina’s military dictatorship against suspected left-wing political critics in the 1970s and 1980s.
lo/nm (AFP, dpa)