Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 17:30 GMT
Celebrations greet Pinochet decision
Supporters and critics cheered the Law Lords' verdict
Both opponents and supporters of General Pinochet have been celebrating victory, following the British Law Lords decision that he can face extradition proceedings.
The country came to a standstill to follow the television transmissions from London.
Cheers, fireworks and champagne
They are happy with the stipulation that the former dictator should only have to answer charges stemming from crimes allegedly committed after 1988, towards the end of his 1973-1990 rule.
"The ruling is justice done. It was what we Chileans were expecting," one supporter said.
Others danced in the streets, popped champagne and waved flags, saying the decision was a victory for Pinochet, who has a lifetime senate seat because of his status as a former president.
Hugs and kisses
The crowd leapt up in celebration when the ruling was announced.
Even though Law Lords ruled that most of the charges should be dropped, anti-Pinochet activists gathered outside the House of Lords in London were also jubilant.
"For years we've waited for this man to face the music and at last this has happened," said Ana-Maria Suarez.
It has been a long wait in Pinochet's home nation for the second ruling from the Law Lords. Nobody was willing to predict which way they would rule, and both sides held separate vigils in the hours before the announcement.
The Chilean Government is determined to maintain public order. In advance of the ruling it asked Chileans to react to the Law Lords' verdict with moderation.
President Eduardo Frei has held extensive meetings with his advisors to discuss his administration's response to the verdict, and he is expected to address the nation once he has considered the announcement from London.