Ailing Guatemalan ex-dictator requests retrial absence

Former Guatemalan President Jose Efrain Rios Montt, wearing dark glasses prescribed after his cataract surgery, is seen during a court hearing in Guatemala city on November 19, 2013Lawyers for Guatemalan ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt said Friday he is too sick to attend court next week, when he faces a retrial for genocide over the killings of indigenous people in the 1980s. “The health condition of General Rios (Montt) has been deteriorating during the past year and doctors are watching him very closely to see if he’s in good enough shape to attend on Monday,” Luis Rosales, a lawyer for Rios Montt, told AFP. The lawyer had asked the court if Rios Montt could be absent. Rios Montt “is being treated with absolute rest, and doctors say he is only allowed to move to go to the bathroom, nothing else,” Rosales said, noting that the military continues to keep his client under house arrest in an upscale part of the capital.

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