Julio Alberto Poch, 57, the Dutch-Argentine pilot convicted for throwing political prisoners out of an aircraft into the sea 30 years ago, has been ordered extradition by the High Court of Spain.

He was arrested last year after a conversation between his colleagues and an Argentine judge in Europe, who said that he had boasted about throwing prisoners into the River plate or the Atlantic Ocean. Poch was protected from extradition until September 22, when he landed in Spain on his way to the Netherlands.

According to a statement by the High Court, Poch was found guilty of throwing several live people out of aeroplanes and helicopters while serving as naval air officer in the Argentine Navy between 1976 and 1980. About 11,000 people were reported dead or missing during a war, called dirty war, between alleged leftists and other military regime opponents which ruled from 1976 to 1983.

Poch denied the charges but accepted the extradition, saying that he has been treated like a criminal and the only chance he would have to defend himself will be in Argentina.

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