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Victims of Spain's Franco regime hope new Argentine probe will end impunity

Three people who claim they were tortured during Spain's Franco dictatorship say they hope new arrest warrants issued by Argentina will help bring some of the perpetrators to justice and finally open up a public debate on one of the country's darkest periods.

The three told reporters Monday of routine arrests, beatings and torture during the near-40-year dictatorship that have never been investigated in Spain. One victim, Maria Romin, said Monday said she wanted "everyone to know who these people are and what they did."

Their testimony forms part of an investigation of possible crimes against humanity by an Argentine judge, who last week issued arrest and extradition orders for four former Spanish police officers.

Gen. Francisco Franco ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975.