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Friday, 31 December, 1999, 03:28 GMT
Argentine presidents on wanted list

Leopoldo Galtieri Leopoldo Galtieri: Former leader facing arrest


The Spanish judge seeking the extradition of the former Chilean leader, General Augusto Pinochet, has activated international arrest warrants against 48 former military officials in Argentina.

Those wanted include two former presidents, Jorge Videla and Leopoldo Galtieri.


Wanted: Jorge Videla

They are on a list of about 100 Argentines charged with genocide, torture and terrorism by the judge, Baltasar Garzon, last month.

Mr Garzon has been investigating the fate of Spanish citizens who died or disappeared during military rule in Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

The arrest orders can only be carried out if the accused leave Argentina.

They were activated a day after the Chilean Government warned former members of General Pinochet's regime taht the judge was also drawing up warrants against them.

Chile warning

Chilean foreign minister Juan Gabriel Valdes the government had warned those concerned that they risked being detained if they travelled abroad.

The pinochet File
The aides include two men who are now members of the Chilean senate - former police director General Rodolfo Stange, and former Interior Minister Sergio Fernandez.

Mr Stange has previously admitted that going abroad would be "out of the question" for him.

General Pinochet was arrested more than a year ago while he was in the UK and has since been fighting extradition to Spain, where Mr Garzon wants him to face torture charges relating to his time in power from 1973-90.

Mr Valdes said the Chilean Government's position has not changed; that the Spanish judge does not have any authority to pursue crimes allegedly carried out in Chile.

Chile has used the same argument in demanding General Pinochet's release.

According to an official report by the civilian government that succeeded the Pinochet regime, 3,197 people were killed or disappeared for political reasons during the military regime

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See also:
08 Oct 99 |  The Pinochet file
Pinochet profile: Saviour or tyrant
01 Jul 99 |  Americas
US releases secret Pinochet files
08 Oct 99 |  UK
Way cleared for Pinochet extradition

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