Falklands 40: Headlines from The News, Portsmouth on June 19, 1982

In the final instalment of our flashbacks to the developments we reported from the Falklands 40 years ago, here is what was making the headlines today.

By Mollie Delahay
Sunday, 19th June 2022, 4:55 am

‘Captain Death' report promised

A detailed report is being prepared for the Swedish and French governments following the questioning of Argentina’s Captain Alfredo Astiz in Chichester, Foreign Office Minister Lord Belstead announced yesterday.

Astiz, known as ‘Captain Death’ was held at the Royal Military Police Training Centre at the city's Roussillon Barracks.

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Teniente de Naviro (Lieutenant) Alfredo Astiz signing the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of all Argentine forces at Lieth, on South Georgia on board HMS Plymouth. He was held at Chichester as a prisoner-of-war

While he was there he was interviewed by a senior Sussex police officer before being returned to Argentina.

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The French wanted to question Astiz about the disappearance of two nuns, and the Swedes about an 18-year-old Swedish girl who was shot in the back and has not been seen since.

But Astiz maintained his right to silence under the Geneva Convention provisions for prisoners of war.

Lord Belstead said in the Lords that Britain had no jurisdiction to try Astiz ‘for any of his alleged offences of torture which were not committed on British territory’.

‘I am advised we have no jurisdiction to try Astiz for any of the offences he is alleged to have committed in Argentina,’ said Lord Belstead.

‘Even if a crime had been committed against a British subject, this would not have provided our courts with jurisdiction.

‘The questions which had been received from the French Governments were put to Astiz on June 8 by a senior officer of the Sussex Constabulary, and a detailed report will be given to the French and Swedish Governments as soon as possible.’

Former Labour Lord Chancellor, Lord Elwyn Jones, said: ‘We respect the right of silence for prisoners of war. He maintained silence, and we honoured our obligations under the Geneva Convention.’

Get out or war goes on - junta

Hopes of a speedy end to the Falklands conflict faded today after Argentina insisted that war would stop only when Britain withdrew its forces from the islands.

In a note to the United Nations Security Council, the ruling military junta said the dispute could be settled only through negotiations within a UN framework.

The surprise move came four days after the Argentine surrender at Port Stanley and 24 hours after the ousting of President Leopoldo Galtieri.

The junta yesterday formally accepted Gen Galtieri's formal resignation and appointed Interior Minister Alfredo Saint Jean as interim president.

Military 'will try to keep power'

Argentina's new military rulers will not willingly hand over power to a civilian government, according to a Portsmouth expert on Latin America.

Dr David Cubitt was commenting on reports that Generals Alfredo Saint Jean and Cristino Nicolaides had been named President and military commander-in-chief respectively.

Dr Cubitt, a senior lecturer in Latin American Studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic's school of languages, said both were hard-line right-wing nationalists.

Each was involved in repression of the civilian population by the Army in the '70s and early '80s. Although civilian politicians believed the Armed Services were on the run, the generals had a strong interest in keeping control.

Well drink to that...

Hambledon is already renowned as the cradle of English cricket - but yesterday the village launched another claim to fame - Hambledon natural spring water.

A 105-year-old well, used for the old Hambledon Alliance Brewery, has been restored and the water is being bottled as Hampshire’s answer to some famous brand names.

Watched by celebrities and local dignitaries, Nick Pocock, captain of Hampshire's cricket team, performed the official ceremony to open the pump room and start the spring water bottling line at Hartridge’s soft drinks plant.

Discovered by the founder, Francis Hartridge in 1882, the well is connected deep in the chalk bed to a subterranean stream of exceptional clarity and purity, claimed to originate in the Pyrenees.