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Argentina to speed up trial for subversives

Argentina's military government has followed up its amnesty for human rights offenders in the military with legislation to speed up trials of antigovernment guerrillas.

The new law will allow for civilians accused of subversion to be tried and sentenced within 10 days, said a senior officer. Under the old system a trial could take two or three years.

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An earlier decree gave amnesty to members of the security forces and their civilian collaborators who may have abused human rights during a campaign against leftist guerrillas in the late 1970s. The decree, only six weeks before elections to return Argentina to democracy, was condemned by political leaders, human rights groups, and leading churchmen, who accused the armed forces of trying to cover up their crimes.