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Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 16:33 GMT
Pinochet lawyers appeal against charges, arrest

Lawyers for the former Chilean military ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, have appealed for charges of murder and kidnapping against him to be dropped and an arrest order lifted.

Their motion, filed with the Santiago appeals court, comes a day after General Pinochet was formally placed under house arrest on the order of a judge, Juan Guzman.

The judge has indicted General Pinochet in connection with the deaths and disappearances of more than seventy political prisoners shortly after the 1973 military coup.

The defence team argues that the eighty-five-year-old general is not guilty and that he is too ill to stand trial.

The appeal is expected to be heard over the next few weeks; any decision could be challenged all the way to the Chilean Supreme Court.

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