[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 22:43 GMT 23:43 UK
General Pinochet judge steps down
Juan Guzman
Judge Guzman says he wants to write and teach
The Chilean judge Juan Guzman, who led legal proceedings against former military ruler General Augusto Pinochet, has retired.

Judge Guzman, 66, dismissed talk of a run for the presidency, saying he wanted instead to write and teach.

The judge first indicted Gen Pinochet in 2000. He failed to secure a conviction, but stripped the former strongman of his immunity twice.

Meanwhile legal pressure on the general is continuing to mount.

On Wednesday, another lawsuit was filed against him, claiming he conspired to move the bodies of missing left-wing activists.

Pressure charge

Human rights lawyer Eduardo Contreras said the judge's retirement was a loss for the judiciary.

The indictments of Pinochet are a contribution to Chile's history that will never be erased
Eduardo Contreras
Human rights lawyer

"He restored the lost dignity of the judiciary," he said, quoted by AP news agency.

"The indictments of Pinochet are a contribution to Chile's history that will never be erased."

Judge Guzman first indicted Gen Pinochet in a case related to the Caravan of Death - a military commando that toured several cities after the 1973 coup and executed more than 70 political prisoners.

The Supreme Court turned down the indictment for health reasons.

Last December the judge charged General Pinochet over the disappearance of nine people and the murder of another during Operation Condor, the coordinated campaign by South American military governments in the 1970s to hunt down political opponents.

The indictment is still open and Gen Pinochet's defence has appealed, again arguing health grounds.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific