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Monday, 21 August, 2000, 21:37 GMT 22:37 UK
Pinochet given interrogation date
General Pinochet in uniform
Pinochet plans to take part in Army month celebrations
By James Reynolds in Santiago

Chile's former military leader Augusto Pinochet is to be interrogated on 9 October by the judge investigating the general's alleged involvement in human rights abuses.

The announcement of the date for the interrogation comes almost two weeks after the supreme court decided to strip Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution.

The date was announced by Juan Guzman, the judge in charge of the 165 law suits filed against General Pinochet.

Mr Guzman said that he would question Augusto Pinochet in private and the interogation would probably be held at the general's home on the outskirts of Santiago.

Judge Guzman is expected to focus on General Pinochet's alleged role in ordering an army squad to kill political prisoners shortly after the 1973 military coup.

Relief

Supreme court
Another stage to bring the general to justice
Once the interrogation has taken place, Juan Guzman will then have to decide whether he has sufficient evidence to charge Augusto Pinochet and have him placed under arrest.

There is relief among many officials here that Juan Guzman has decided to wait until October to question General Pinochet.

Over the next few weeks the country's armed forces will be celebrating the Month of the Army as they do each year.

To mark this, Augusto Pinochet is expected to make a series of formal public appearances, his first since returning to Chile in March.

The government will be glad that the General's interrogation takes place after the Month of the Army has ended.

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08 Aug 00 | Americas
Way open for Pinochet trial
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