Salvadoran suspects held in case of murdered priests

Nine former Salvadoran soldiers were in custody Monday for the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests and two others during El Salvador’s civil war. Five of the priests were Spaniards.

The Salvadoran Defense Ministry said Monday the nine soldiers turned themselves in at a military base before being handed over to a Salvadoran court.

A Salvadoran judge must now decide whether to extradite the accused to Spain. Salvadoran officials have said it is not likely the Salvadoran supreme court will vote to extradite the men.

A 10th suspect in the case has since died. Ten other suspects remain at-large.

Spanish courts have used international jurisdiction doctrines to prosecute the killings of the priests.

The Salvadoran civil war occurred during the 1980s resulting in some 70,000 deaths. Peace was finally reached in 1992.

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