Former U.S.-backed Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt was released from a Guatemalan military hospital where he was taken last month shortly after being put in prison to begin an 80-year sentence for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Defense lawyer Francisco Palomo said the 86-year-old retired army general was moved to house arrest.

Guatemala's Constitutional Court overturned Ríos Montt's conviction a few days after he was hospitalized and ordered his trial to resume to where it stood on April 19 to solve several pending appeals. The trial has yet to restart.

"He left the hospital because he is feeling better, but he still has to have some medical procedures done," Palomo said.

A three-judge panel on May 10 convicted Ríos Montt of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in massacres of Mayans during Guatemala's civil war. It found he knew about the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans in the western highlands and didn't stop it.

On May 20, the country's top court overturned the conviction, throwing into disarray proceedings that had been hailed as historic for delivering the first such guilty verdict for a Latin American leader.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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