Tuesday, December 15, 1998 Published at 18:18 GMT
Pinochet ruling 'biased'
Lucia Pinochet, the general's wife, before the hearing
General Pinochet's legal team has set out its grounds for demanding a new top-level ruling on the former dictator's claim of immunity.
At the start of Tuesday's hearing, before a new panel of Law Lords, a lawyer for General Pinochet said Lord Hoffmann's role as director of the human right's group charitable arm "gave rise at the very least to the real danger of bias".
"We submit and suggest that it is in cases such as this, where emotions may be running high, that it is most difficult to adopt a dispassionate attitude.
"Yet it is in cases of this sort that it is most essential that people do not give vent to emotion in disregard of right and due process."
But speaking for the Crown Prosecution Service, Alun Jones QC said General Pinochet's lawyers had known of Lord Hoffmann's links with Amnesty before Mr Straw's ruling of 9 December and had mentioned them in their representations to him.
The close nature of the 25 November decision increases the tension surrounding the unprecedented appeal by General Pinochet.
That ruling cleared the way for Home Secretary Jack Straw to authorise the extradition process against the 83-year-old former dictator to Spain where he faces trial for torture and mass murder relating to thousands of deaths following his seizure of power in Chile's 1973 military coup.
But the generals lawyers are hoping to avert that process by having the Law Lords' decision found invalid and reversed at a second hearing.
The UK Home Office has declined to comment on the decision, other than to say that the general's lawyers are "within their rights" to seek a review.
While the legal moves continue, General Pinochet has himself made only one court appearance at the formal start of extradition proceedings last week.
The hearing continues on Wednesday.