I wonder how many "dirty war" generals there are out there? BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An Argentine court on Tuesday sentenced former military junta member Cristino Nicolaides to 25 years in prison for conspiring to murder leftist opponents during the 1976-83 so-called dirty war. Seven other military officials were ordered to serve prison terms of between 20 years and 25 years for kidnapping and killing several members of a leftist guerrilla group, Montoneros, during the dictatorship. Nicolaides, the military regime's last army commander, is the highest-ranking official to be convicted of human rights crimes since "dirty war" amnesty laws and pardons were scrapped in 2003. Rights activists and relatives of dictatorship victims applauded the verdict after it was read aloud, and some yelled insults at the men as they filed out of the courtroom. Nicolaides, who is in his early 80s, was not present at the hearing. Earlier this year, the courts handed down life sentences to three rights abusers -- two police officers and a Roman Catholic priest who served as police chaplain -- arguing they had committed crimes against humanity. As many as 30,000 leftists and dissidents were kidnapped and killed during military rule and officials crushed several small leftist guerrilla groups operating in the South American country. A former coast guard officer died last week, just four days before he was to face a verdict on decades-old torture charges. Investigators found that cyanide likely killed him and arrested his wife and two children for questioning. (Reporting by Damian Wroclavsky, writing by Hilary Burke, editing by David Wiessler) More: http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldN...ldNews&rpc=401 Maybe the torture thing got him?