Argentines convicted for disappearances 38 years on

Buenos Aires (AFP) - An Argentine mother who first sued military officers nearly 38 years ago for the disappearance of her pregnant daughter under the former dictatorship finally saw them convicted on Thursday.

"I see that justice comes late, but it comes," said Rosa Roisinblit, 97, a prominent campaigner for victims of the 1976-1983 dictatorship.

The court handed 25-year jail sentences to former air force commanders Omar Graffigna, 90, and Luis Trillo, 75, and a 12-year term to ex-intelligence officer Francisco Gomez, 70.

Roisinblit's grandchildren Mariana and Guillermo embraced her in the courtroom after the ruling was announced.

"I am happy to have lived to witness what I have just seen and heard," Roisinblit said.

The former officers were convicted of "illegal privation of liberty and aggravated torture."

Patricia Roisinblit and her husband Jose Manuel Perez Rojo were kidnapped by air force personnel in 1978 and have never been found.

Rosa Roisinblit is one of the leaders of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a prominent campaign group.

Campaigners say 30,000 people were victims of forced "disappearances."

The former dictator Jorge Videla and other top members of the regime were sentenced to life in prison in 1985.

Mariana Roisinblit was looked after by her paternal grandparents after her mother and father were seized when she was 15 months old.

Guillermo was born while his mother was in custody and later identified with the help of the Grandmothers group.