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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 17:59 GMT
Gen Pinochet under house arrest
General Augusto Pinochet
Pinochet overthrew the Allende government in 1973
Chile's ex-military ruler, Gen Augusto Pinochet, has been formally put under house arrest, a day after the Supreme Court ruled he was fit to stand trial.

Court officials delivered the arrest order to the general at his country residence in central Chile.

Gen Pinochet faces charges of murder and kidnapping.

They relate to Operation Condor, a joint campaign by South American military governments in the 1970s to eliminate left-wing opponents.

October 1998: Police in UK arrest Pinochet on Spanish warrant; long legal battle over fitness for trial
March 2000: Deemed unfit for trial, returns home. Days later effort begins to try him in Chile
August 2000: Supreme Court strips his immunity. Later declared fit to stand trial
July 2001: Charges suspended and later dropped on grounds of health
May 2004: Court strips Pinochet of immunity from prosecution over fresh charges
Dec 2004: Chilean judge indicts Pinochet
Jan 2005: Court backs Pinochet murder trial, saying he is fit to stand trial

Defence lawyers are expected shortly to ask the Court of Appeals to block the arrest order and the indictment of Gen Pinochet - who has so far avoided facing trial.

Gen Pinochet has never been put on trial for human rights violations under his 1973-90 rule, despite several high-profile cases against him.

Last month, investigating judge Juan Guzman declared Gen Pinochet mentally fit to stand trial, ordering him to be detained at his home.

Gen Pinochet was released from hospital shortly before Christmas after military doctors said he suffered a stroke.

He had been recovering at his ranch in Los Boldos, west of the capital, Santiago.

In a separate case in 2001, Mr Guzman had confined Mr Pinochet to the same residence for more than a month, until charges against him were dropped on health grounds when doctors diagnosed mild dementia.

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