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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 20:49 GMT
Pinochet put under house arrest
Gen Augusto Pinochet
Gen Pinochet has not been convicted in any case

Chile's former military leader, Augusto Pinochet, has been placed under house arrest over the abduction of two people in 1973.

The charges relate to the Caravan of Death - a military operation to remove opponents to Gen Pinochet's rule.

The two men were security guards for former President Salvador Allende, who was overthrown by the military.

Gen Pinochet is accused of dozens of human rights violations but has never faced trial over any of the charges.

More than 3,000 people were killed or "disappeared" during his 1973- 1990 rule.

Ill health

His arrest comes just days after his 91st birthday, on which he said he accepted political responsibility for everything that happened during his time in office.

He defended his record saying he had acted in the interests of Chile and that the coup was necessary to prevent the country descending into political and social turmoil.

Gen Pinochet was also placed under house arrest in October for alleged human rights abuses committed at the infamous Villa Grimaldi detention centre, but was freed on bail earlier this month.

He enjoys legal immunity as a former president, but the courts can strip him of this privilege on a case-by-case basis. This has happened in a number of human rights and financial cases.

He has yet to be cleared or convicted in any of the cases, some of which have been dropped because of his ill health. His lawyers have argued he is too infirm to stand trial.

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