Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has denied an appeal by lawyers for Efraín Ríos Montt that sought to have the ex-dictator’s trial for genocide and crimes against humanity called off.
Tuesday’s ruling confirms a January 11 date for the special proceeding, set to take place behind closed doors.
Ríos Montt is accused of responsibility for the killings of 1,771 indigenous Ixil people by troops during his 1982-83 regime. He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 80 years. But the conviction was thrown out and a new trial ordered. Montt will be tried alongside his ex-head of intelligence José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez.
Ríos Montt has previously been declared unfit for a regular trial due to dementia. January’s proceeding can only establish guilt or innocence and will not result in a sentence. He is not expected to attend, with his legal team representing him instead.