Former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt’s retrial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity was postponed Monday, dismaying victims who have long sought to see him punished for the massacre of thousands of Mayan Indians during his regime.
Clad in pajamas and covered in a blanket, Ríos Montt was wheeled into a courtroom on a gurney after the tribunal threw out a defense argument that the 88-year-old was too frail to attend.
Judge Jeannette Valdez initially turned down a motion that she recuse herself because she wrote a master’s thesis on genocide, calling it “a strategy to obstruct” the proceedings. But the two other judges who make up the panel accepted the motion, causing the trial’s onset to be postponed.
Ríos Montt was convicted for the massacre of thousands during his 1982-83 regime in what was considered a historic 2013 ruling. But his 80-year sentence was later overturned and a restart to the trial ordered.