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Argentine ex-economy minister Martinez de Hoz dies

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March 16, 2013 03:28 PM EST | AP


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Former economy minister Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz has died at age 87 while awaiting sentencing for human rights abuses during the military dictatorship.

The state news agency Telam said the exact cause of his death Saturday was not immediately announced.

Martinez de la Hoz was Argentina's economy minister from 1976-1981 under military coup leader Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla.

After the dictatorship ended, Martinez de la Hoz was tried for rights abuses. He benefited from a 1990 pardon by then-President Carlos Menem, but the charges were restored after the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the pardon was unconstitutional.

Specifically, Martinez de la Hoz was accused of being among those responsible for the kidnapping and extortion of a prominent businessman and his son, something he long denied.