Thursday, December 17, 1998 Published at 23:17 GMT
Pinochet gets new hearing
Protesters against General Pinochet last month
Five Law Lords have unanimously set aside last month's ruling that General Pinochet must stay in the UK to face extradition proceedings.
Announcing the new ruling, Lord Browne-Wilkinson said: "I am satisfied that the earlier decision of this House cannot stand and must be set aside.
The appeal was heard by a different panel of senior Law Lords - the other four verbally agreed with the position set out by Lord Browne-Wilkinson.
Chilean President Eduardo Frei said he was pleased with the new ruling.
The new hearing
The new hearing on the original immunity claim may take place next month and could take even longer than the original six-day process.
In addition to Amnesty, the Chilean Government could also seek to make representations, as well as Spain and other countries interested in extraditing the general.
"We will be going back to the Lords. We will be hoping that the decision once again goes in our favour," she said.
The judgement cleared the way for Mr Straw's decision to authorise the lengthy extradition process, as Spanish authorities seek to try General Pinochet for crimes including mass murder.
At the appeal, Clare Montgomery, QC, for General Pinochet, said that Lord Hoffmann was under an obligation to declare his links to Amnesty, so that the legal team could decide whether they wanted to object to him hearing the case.
But Alun Jones, QC, for the Spanish Government, argued there would have been chaos if Lord Hoffmann had declared his links to Amnesty.
General Pinochet was arrested in London in October on a warrant from Spain, alleging murder of Spanish citizens during his regime, from 1973 to 1990.
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