Evidence hearings begin in Guatemala genocide case

AP News
Posted: Jan 31, 2013 9:22 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A judge has begun accepting testimonies, documents and other evidence in the genocide case against former military dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt.

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez on Thursday opened hearings allowing the presentation of evidence in the case against Rios Montt, who is accused of ordering the murder, torture and displacement of Mayan Indians after he seized control of the government in a March 1982 coup.

Galvaz had ruled on Monday that Rios Montt could be tried by a three-judge panel on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for the killing of 1,771 indigenous Ixiles in a "scorched earth" campaign aimed at wiping out support for leftist guerrillas when he was president in 1982-1983.

The United Nations says more than 200,000 people were killed during the 1960-96 civil war.