RSS Feeds

Guatemala sets verdict for ex-dictator for Friday

Friday - 5/10/2013, 12:25pm  ET

An Ixil Indian woman, the relative of a civil war victim, uses earphones to hear translations between Spanish and the Ixil language during the genocide trial of former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt in Guatemala City, Thursday, May 9, 2013. The 86-year-old ex-general says he never ordered attacks against "a race,"denying he ordered the extermination of Ixil Mayas. Prosecutors say that while in power, Rios Montt was aware of, and thus responsible for, the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayas in the towns of San Juan Cotzal, San Gaspar Chajul and Santa Maria Nebaj in Guatemala's western highlands. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- The court hearing the genocide case against former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt says a verdict will be announced within hours.

Presiding Judge Yassmin Barrios says the verdict will be announced around 4:00 p.m. local time (6 p.m. EDT; 2200 GMT) Friday in Guatemala City.

The court heard closing arguments and a statement by Rios Montt himself on Thursday.

He denied he ordered the extermination of Ixil Mayas, during the time he ruled Guatemala from March 1982 to August 1983 at the height of the country's civil war.

On Wednesday, prosecutors asked he be sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Rios Montt seized power in a March 23, 1982, coup, and ruled until he was overthrown just over a year later.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.