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Paraguayan High Court Annuls Former General's Coup Conviction


The Paraguayan Supreme Court has overturned a mutiny conviction and 10-year prison sentence of former army general Lino Oviedo, clearing the way for him to compete in presidential elections next April.

The high court made its decision late Tuesday after accepting arguments from former high-ranking military officers who denied an uprising had occurred in 1996.

The case stemmed from General Oviedo's role in a failed coup attempt against former President Juan Carlos Wasmosy.

Oviedo had been sent to prison in 1998 for trying to topple Mr. Wasmosy's government but was later released. He lived in exile in Argentina and Brazil, and when he returned to Paraguay in 2004 he was re-arrested and returned to prison.

Last month, a military court freed Oviedo from prison.

Oviedo is also alleged to have masterminded the 1999 assassination of then-Paraguayan Vice President Luis Maria Argana. Oviedo has denied the charges.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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