Friday, May 28, 2004

Trying to return with some good news, chapter one

In an unexpected move, a Chilean court has stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for him to be tried for human rights abuses, the BBC reports on May 28.
The BBC's Clinton Porteus in the Chilean capital Santiago says the decision came as a big surprise, provoking gasps - and cheers - in the courtroom.

He adds that a recent lengthy interview given by Gen Pinochet to a US television station might persuade judges that he is not mentally unfit to stand trial,
significant because the claim that he suffers from dementia was used to get previous cases dismissed on medical grounds.
Prosecution lawyer Francisco Bravo said: "This ruling makes the relatives of the victims and the whole Chilean society again trust Chile's justice."
Pinochet's legal troubles started when he was arrested in the UK after Spain requested his extradition on charges of torture. In 2000, however, he was allowed to return to Chile after being adjudged too ill to stand trial. Health reasons have kept him out of the dock since, but his luck may have finally run out.

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