Former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla, on trial for kidnapping 33 babies from parents who disappeared during the military dictatorship, called their mothers "terrorists" Tuesday.
"All those who gave birth, who I respect as mothers, were active militants in the machinery of terrorism. They used their children as human shields," said the former general, 86, who has already been sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity.
In power from 1976 to 1981, Videla is accused of the systematic kidnapping of children under his regime.
Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a human rights organization attempting to find people kidnapped during that period, estimates that around 500 babies were taken from their parents and adopted by families close to the regime.
Videla has declared the accusations against him "erroneous," claiming that there were "firm written orders to return destitute children to their families."
Also prosecuted in the trial against Videla, slated to end on July 5, is the last dictator of the military regime, Reynaldo Bignone (1982-1982), among other former military leaders.
Videla has been incarcerated in a civilian prison at the barracks at Campo de Mayo, 19 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires, since his sentencing to life in prison in 2010 for the execution of 31 prisoners in Cordoba province.
Videla was sentenced to life in prison once before, in a historic trial against military juntas in 1985, but was pardoned in 1990 by ex-president Carlos Menem.
The pardon and amnesty laws of the late 1980s were annulled after the election of former president Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007), who died in October 2010. The annulment allowed the Latin American nation's judiciary to reopen a number of cases.
Some 30,000 of the regime's opposition were killed or disappeared during the military dictatorship, according to human rights organizations.