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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
Pinochet undergoes medical tests
Relatives in tears
During Pinochet's military rule, more than 3,000 dissidents were killed
Former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet has had medical tests to see if he is mentally fit to face trial for human rights abuse in his 17-year rule.

The charges are in connection with an alleged campaign by several South American dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to kill their opponents.

The general denied any links when he was questioned by a judge on Saturday.

Gen Pinochet, 88, has avoided trial on medical grounds, but last month the Supreme Court ruled he could be tried.

Defence lawyers say he is innocent, but human rights campaigners have urged the judge to press formal charges.


The general was examined for more than two hours by three doctors at his home in the capital, Santiago.

Judge Juan Guzman asked the doctors to submit their report within days, the Associated Press news agency reported.

1973: Leads coup against left-wing President Salvador Allende
1988: Loses plebiscite on rule
1990: Steps down as president
1998: Retires as army commander-in-chief. Arrested in UK at Spain's request
2000: Allowed to return to Chile
2004: Supreme Court strips his legal immunity

Court sources said Saturday's interview with Judge Guzman focused on the knowledge Gen Pinochet may have had of the kidnapping and torture of some 19 Chileans in Operation Condor.

This was a co-ordinated campaign by the military governments in the region to track down, interrogate and kill left-wing opponents.

In a transcript released on Monday, Gen Pinochet testified that he did not know of the existence of the operation and thought it was handled by middle-ranking officers.

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