Wednesday, October 28, 1998 Published at 09:54 GMT
Judges rule on Pinochet's extradition
Relatives of alleged victims are seeking extradition
Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet will learn if a legal challenge to his arrest and detention in the UK has been successful.
His lawyers argue that as a former head of state, he was immune from arrest.
The High Court, in London, is expected to make a decision on Wednesday.
Switzerland has also applied for his extradition and Sweden may follow suit.
The Foreign Office said: "British nationals and British commercial interests could become targets for spontaneous attacks."
It advised Britons to "keep a low profile, avoid crowds, meetings and demonstrations and avoid areas where English-speaking community usually gather".
The FCO's warning came under fire from the Chilean Deputy Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez.
He said the warning was "not the best way to avoid the political escalation of this situation".
Such a recommendation from the Foreign Office, he said, was "giving the way for the interpretation that you are facing almost a political conflict. This is not our view."
UK torture charges
It has also emerged that General Pinochet could face torture charges in the UK if the attorney-general consents to a case brought by four alleged victims of his regime.
Lawyers acting for three Chileans living in the UK and a fourth based in Lebanon have requested Attorney-General John Morris's permission to pursue a private criminal prosecution under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
They have also asked the Director of Public Prosecutions, David Calvert-Smith, to start proceedings against General Pinochet, who was detained in London on 16 October while recuperating after surgery.
If the case brought by the four exiles is allowed to proceed, General Pinochet will be arrested under British law, preventing his return to Chile.
British law allows charges of torture and hostage-taking to be tried in the UK, irrespective of where the acts took place.
The lawyer for the four, David Burgess, said: "These are torture victims, not out for revenge, but for justice. They have waited a long time for this."
The precise details of the charges have not been made public, but it is known that one of them concerns offences alleged to have been committed against a woman between 1987 and 1989.
On Tuesday, Chilean Socialist Party MP Alejandro Navarro said polls showed more than 50% of Chileans think General Pinochet should face charges.
He denied that Chile's fragile democracy was threatened by the former dictator's arrest.
"In Chile the transition to democracy is very firm. It's not true, as reported, that it is shaking.
"The stability is economic and social as well as political."