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Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK


UK

The 35 torture charges facing Pinochet

Relatives of Chile's missing dissidents watch televised reports of the hearing in London

The charges faced by the former Chilean leader, General Augusto Pinochet include allegations that his victims were tortured with electric shocks, beatings, sexual abuse and threats of rape. In five of the cases the torture was followed by death.

At Monday's hearing Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, acting for Spain, detailed 34 alleged specific cases of torture and one charge of conspiracy to torture, all dating from December 1988 to December 1989.

CPS barrister Alun Jones said the charges "constitute some of the most serious allegations of crime ever to come before English criminal courts".

The conspiracy to torture charge alleges that between 7 December 1988 and 12 March 1990, Gen Pinochet agreed with others a policy of abducting, torturing and killing those thought to be a threat to his position and to other members of the conspiracy, and of continuing to conceal the fate of "the disappeared" from their families.

The specific torture charges allege that as Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, Augusto Pinochet, jointly with other public officials, intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering on the following people in purported performance of official duties.

  • On 15 December 1988 on Wilson Fernando Valdebenito Juica by inflicting electric shocks and causing his eventual death

  • On 16 December 1988 on Juan Fuentes Sepulveda by inflicting and threatening electric shocks

  • On 31 December 1988 on Dolores Paz Cautivo Ahumada by repeatedly beating her and by threatening to rape her sister

  • On 27 March 1989 on Pedro Alberto Ciudad Palma by beating him, inflicting electric shocks on him and suspending him

  • On 11 April 1989 on Hector Washington Maturanza Urzua by beating him, depriving him sleep and inflicting electric shocks on him

  • On 18 April 1989 on Pablo Andres Parada Apablaza by beating him, threatening him with instant death and inflicting electric shocks on him

  • On 18 April 1989 on Claudio Tapia Orellano by beating him and threatening him with instant death

  • Between 3 May and 8 May 1989 on Lincoyan Nery Caceres Pena by beating him, causing his eventual death

  • On 18 May 1989 on Claudio Torrealba Torrcalba by beating him and inflicting electric shocks on him

  • On 2 June 1989 on Hernan Sepulveda Pertner causing his eventual death

  • On 8 July 1989 on Manuel Antonio Arriaga Canales by inflicting electric shocks on him and beating him

  • On an unknown day in July 1989 on Edmundo Meza Schaffer by suspending him, inflicting electric shocks on him, beating him and by keeping him in conditions of acute physical discomfort

  • On 16 July 1989 on Jorge Alejandro Escobar Diaz by beating him, inflicting electric shocks on him and by forcing him to imbibe hallucinogenic drugs

  • Between 15 July and 1 August on Marcos Antonio Mardones Villarroel by beating him, inflicting electric shocks on him and burning him

  • On 19 July 1989 on Guillanno Saladori Calderon Leiva by inflicting electric shocks on him and beating him

  • Between 20 August 1989 and an unknown date in Spetember 1989 on Jessica Antonia Liberona Ninoles by depriving her of sleep, making threats about her nine-year-old daughter, conducting repeated interrogations while she was naked and keeping her in dark, solitary and insanitary conditions

  • Between 20 August 1989 and 10 September 1989 on Andrea Fabiloa Oyarzun Alvarado by interfering with her breathing, threatening her with instant death and keeping her in conditions of acute physical discomfort

  • Between 20 August and 10 September on Hilda Oriana Alvarado Jara by keeping her in conditions of acute physical discomfort

  • On 22 August 1989 on Luis Orlando Vargas Miranda by beating him and subjecting him to severe mental pain or suffering, precipitating his death

  • On 28 August 1989 on Julio Enrique Gerdin Salas by inflicting electric shocks on him while interrogating him and by beating him

  • Between 29 August 1989 and 10 September 1989 on Jorge Muzz Fernando by tying him, confining him in a small cage, suspending him and inflicting electric shocks on him

  • On 24 June 1989 on Marcos Quezada Yanez, aged 17, by inflicting severe electric shocks causing her eventual death

  • On 1 September 1989 on Avelino Villarroel Munoz by beating him, inflicting electric shocks on him, restricting his breathing and allowing him to hear the infliction of severe pain and suffering upon others

  • On 24 September 1989 on Victor Alfonso Diaz Gonzalez by beating him and restricting his breathing

  • Between 18 October 1989 and 27 October 1989 on Leonor Clara Espinoza Parra by depriving her of sleep, food and water for several days, keeping her in acute physical discomfort and by threatening that she would be tortured with electric shocks

  • Between 26 October 1989 and an unknown date in November 1989 on Patricia Irrazaval by beating her repeatedly, depriving her of sleep, food and water and keeping her in acute physical discomfort

  • On 26 October 1989 and 17 November 1989 on Marcos Ariel Antonioletti Ruiz by beating him, inflicting electric shocks on him, suspending him, depriving him of sleep, keeping him in condition sof acute physical discomfort, threatening him with instant death and damaging his sight

  • Between 26 October 1989 and an unknown date in November 1989 on Hector Raul Irrazabal Moya by beating him and suspending him repeatedly

  • Between 26 October 1989 and 1 November 1989 on Marcos Paulsen Figueroa by beating him, suspending him repeatedly, threatening him with instant death and threatening that his sisters would be tortured and sexually assaulted

  • Between 27 October 1989 and a date unknown in November 1989 on Andrea Paulsen Figuera by depriving her of sleep, food and water for several days and threatening that her five-year-old daughter would be tortured

  • On 10 November 1989 on Claudio Varela Moya by beating him, suspending him in a position of acute discomfort and by inflicting electric shocks

  • Between 30 November 1989 and 1 January 1990 on Marcelo Arturo Garay Vergara was by beating him, suspending him, keeping him in conditions of acute physical discomfort and by threatening that he would be disabled permanently

  • On 5 December 1989 on Luis Leyton Chamorro by inflicting electric shocks on him

  • On 21 December 1989 on Marcelo Samuel Gutierrez Hemandez by beating him, suspending him in a position of acute physical discomfort and threatening him with electric shocks


    [ image: Ana Gonzalez, whose four sons are among
    Ana Gonzalez, whose four sons are among "the disappeared"
    More than 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during Gen Pinochet's 17-year military rule, which lasted from when he took power in a coup in 1973 to when he handed over to a civilian government in 1990.

    The charges relate just to the final 14 months of his rule because Britain only signed the international convention against torture in September 1988.

    Under English law torture by a public official, committed anywhere in the world, is an offence contrary to section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, enacted pursuant to the Convention against Torture of 1984.

    The offence can be committed by act or omission, and the torture may be physical or mental.

    The House of Lords held that the defendant has no immunity against charges of torture and conspiracy to torture committed after 7 December 1988.





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