A former Argentine military officer has gone on trial in Madrid, Spain, accused of committing human rights abuses during his country's so called "dirty war" more than two decades ago.

Adolfo Scilingo is alleged to have dumped drugged dissidents from military helicopters into the ocean. 

Mr. Scilingo, who went to Spain in 1997, had earlier confessed, becoming one of the first officers to openly admit such atrocities occurred during Argentina's brutal 1976-1983 crackdown on leftists. But he later recanted and recently went on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment and trial.

Spanish prosecutors are trying the case under a law that allows Spain's courts to act against suspected human rights violators, even if the alleged crimes were committed in other countries.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP.