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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Pinochet denies links to killings
General Augusto Pinochet
Pinochet was president of Chile from 1974 to 1990
Former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet has denied links with a campaign by South American governments in the 1970s to kill their opponents.

The general was questioned on Operation Condor by a judge on Saturday.

A prosecution statement said he told Juan Guzman he thought the operation was handled by middle-ranking officers.

Gen Pinochet, 88, is due to undergo tests on Thursday to check if he is fit to face trial for alleged human rights abuses in his 17-year military rule.

He has so far avoided trial on medical grounds, but last month the Chilean Supreme Court ruled that he could be tried.

Defence lawyers say he is innocent, but human rights campaigners have urged the judge to press formal charges.

'I don't remember'

Court sources said Saturday's interview focused on the knowledge Gen Pinochet may have had of the kidnapping and torture of some 19 Chileans in Operation Condor.

1973: Leads coup against left-wing President Salvador Allende
1988: Loses plebiscite on rule
1990: Steps down as president
1998: Retires as army commander-in-chief. Arrested in UK at Spain's request
2000: Allowed to return to Chile
2004: Supreme Court strips his legal immunity

This was a co-ordinated campaign by the military governments in the region to track down, interrogate and kill left-wing opponents.

In a transcript released on Monday, Gen Pinochet testified that he did not know of the existence of the operation.

"No, I don't remember, because it wasn't my problem," he said.

"That was an issue, I imagine, for mid-level officials. Neither Condor or anything like that was my problem," the general added.

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