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Saturday, June 19, 1999 Published at 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK


World

Pinochet faces new charges

General Pinochet has been under house arrest since last October

The Spanish judge seeking the extradition of the former Chilean leader, General Augusto Pinochet, has added a further 36 charges of torture to his indictment.

The pinochet File
Judge Baltasar Garzon has now tabled a total of 108 alleged cases of torture in his request for extradition, which will be heard in the UK in September.

All the new charges involve acts alleged to have been committed after 1988, the date after which the UK's highest court ruled General Pinochet could face charges for crimes against humanity.

In that year the UK Government ratified the international convention on torture.

In March this year, the UK courts reduced the original number of charges against General Pinochet from around 3,000 to just eight.

But the ruling allowed Judge Garzon to submit new charges of torture during the last two years of General Pinochet's military rule.

House arrest

General Pinochet has been held under house arrest since last October when Judge Garzon initially filed an application for extradition.

At the time he was on a private visit to the UK for back surgery at a London clinic.

In a separate development, the head of the Chilean navy, Admiral Jorge Arancibia, has admitted that prisoners disappeared during the military rule of General Pinochet in the 1970s and '80s.

It is the first time a military commander has used the term "prisoners" in reference to missing people who opposed the regime.

Chilean congress members called the remarks a recognition of an institutional responsibility in the matter.

Last week Admiral Arancibia proposed the creation of what he called a "commission of good men" to investigate outstanding cases of disappearances under the military regime.



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