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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 22:33 GMT 23:33 UK
Court win for Chile's ex-leader
General Augusto Pinochet
General Augusto Pinochet faces a number of different investigations
A court in Chile has dismissed two charges against former military ruler General Augusto Pinochet relating to secret offshore bank accounts.

The Santiago Appeals Court dismissed charges of falsifying Defence Ministry documents and false declaration of assets.

But it ruled that charges of falsifying passports and tax evasion should stand.

Gen Pinochet is the subject of a number of probes into alleged human rights violations during his 17-year rule.

The 90-year-old, who has argued that he is too ill to stand trial, has been in and out of house arrest in Chile since returning there from the UK in 2000.

The financial charges resulted from the discovery by a US investigation in 2004 that Gen Pinochet had up to $27m (15.5) in secret offshore accounts.

His legal team said they were very pleased with the ruling and they were confident the remaining charges would be thrown out.

"All he did was hide his money, and now he has even paid all his taxes," lawyer Pablo Rodriguez said.

In December 2005, Chile's top court ruled that Gen Pinochet was fit to stand trial over the 1975 disappearance of political opponents.

More than 3,000 people died in political violence during his 1973-1990 rule, an official inquiry has concluded.


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