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Wednesday, August 11, 1999 Published at 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK

World: Europe

Spanish lawyers to represent Pinochet

Two Spanish lawyers have formally requested authorisation to represent Chile's former military leader, Augusto Pinochet, if and when he is brought to trial in Spain.

Mr Pinochet is currently under house arrest in Britain awating extradition proceedings to Spain where he is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity.

If the application to the Spanish High Court is accepted the lawyers, Fernando Escardo and Jose Maria Stampa Braun, will have access to any documents relating to the case and be able to challenge court decisions. Earlier a son of Mr Pinochet, warned that his father was gravely ill and could die unless released from house arrest.

Citing a medical report, Marco Antonio Pinochet told the BBC that his father was losing feeling in his legs and that he might soon lose the ability to walk.

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