Tuesday, January 19, 1999 Published at 09:32 GMT
Pinochet victim of 'political kidnap'
General Pinochet: Described as a "political prisoner" by supporters
Supporters of Chile's General Augusto Pinochet have described the former dictator as a victim of "a politically-inspired kidnap".
A pamphlet written by a senior aide to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher stresses the work of the general in turning Chile into one of Latin America's most prosperous countries.
Author Dr Robin Harris, former head of the Conservative Research Department, writes: "Senator Pinochet is the closest thing Britain has to a political prisoner."
His pamphlet is being distributed to 5,000 "opinion formers" around the world on the second day of the new hearing into General Pinochet's claim of immunity from the Spanish extradition request.
General Pinochet, who is now 83, is accused of orchestrating mass murder and torture during his rule of Chile.
But Dr Harris and the campaign group Chilean Supporters Abroad, which is distributing the pamphlet, argue his role was pivotal in creating a modern and prosperous state.
Professor Fernando Barros, leader of the Chilean Reconciliation Movement which is backing the campaign, said: "The vast majority of the Chilean people want to see an end to recrimination and are calling for support in the Chilean process of reconciliation."
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