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Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK


Pinochet passport confusion

Pinochet supporters campaign for his right to return home

The Chilean foreign minister, Jose Miguel Insulza, has strongly defended his decision to issue a diplomatic passport to the country's former military leader, General Augusto Pinochet.

A Chilean judge recently criticised the government for irregularities in the granting of the passport.

[ image: Foreign Minister Insulza]
Foreign Minister Insulza
Mr Insulza denied any irregularities, and said he fully accepted responsibility for the issuing of the passport.

General Pinochet was detained in London last October while undergoing medical treatment, and is now facing extradition to Spain on charges of torture. The Chilean government argued that he could not be held in detention because of his diplomatic immunity.

The pinochet File
Next week, lawyers acting for the general in the UK will go back to court to challenge Home Secretary Jack Straw's decision that he should face extradition proceedings.

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