Chile's former army chief is quitting his post as head of the country's electoral service after acknowledging that he handed over to nuns the child of two left-wing activists killed after the 1973 military coup.

Juan Emilio Cheyre resigned late Wednesday from the election board following pressure from human rights groups.

Cheyre spoke publicly for the first time about the case Tuesday. He said he was just following orders when he gave 2-year-old Ernesto Lejderman to a convent.

Lejderman, who was raised by his grandparents in Argentina, says Cheyre shouldn't face charges.

Lejderman's parents were killed by a military patrol while trying to escape with their son after Gen. Augusto Pinochet's coup.

Chile's government estimates 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet's 1973-90 dictatorship.