King leaves hospital
King Juan Carlos has left a hospital six days after successfully undergoing surgery for herniated discs in his lower spine. The 75-year-old monarch thanked waiting journalists for their patience and said “I’m very well, my back doesn’t hurt or anything,” from the front passenger seat as he was driven home on Saturday. The operation was the head of state’s fourth in 12 months, and the 12th time he has undergone surgery during his lifetime. Juan Carlos had hip surgery in November and has had other health issues in the last two years, including needing knee surgery and the removal of a benign lung tumor.
Genocide trial suspended
An appeals court has suspended the trial date for retired General Efrain Rios Montt, a former dictator accused of genocide. Court officials said on Saturday that the temporary injunction delays the proceedings scheduled to begin on March 19. It would be the first genocide case against a former head of state in Latin America. The injunction was requested by military lawyers challenging Judge Miguel Angel Galvez’s decision to exclude expert witnesses in Rios Montt’s defense. Rios Montt is accused of overseeing the slaughter of at least 1,771 indigenous people between March 23, 1982, and Aug. 8, 1983, while serving as de facto president during the country’s civil war. Defense attorney Moses Galindo calls the judge’s ruling a “gross violation of constitutional rights.”