Pinochet Unfit to Stand Trial, Chilean Court Rules

May Never Face Prosecution

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

SANTIAGO, Chile, JULY 9, 2001 ( Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was declared mentally unfit to stand trial for political killings shortly after his 1973 coup, Reuters reported.

The Appeals Court ruling today probably ends efforts to prosecute Pinochet, 85.

The court said he suffers from such severe dementia that he cannot be prosecuted on charges of covering up 75 murders by an army hit squad that toured northern Chile eliminating his political enemies.

The decision can be appealed but few in Chile now believe Pinochet will ever appear in court because of the length of the appeals process, the ex-general´s age and the bitterness of his legacy in Chile.

Pinochet was arrested in 1998 in London in a landmark case seen then as proof that former authoritarian rulers could no longer be immune from prosecution abroad for human rights crimes.

Pinochet returned home from London last year after the British government ruled that he was too ill to be extradited to Spain on torture charges. His critics have accused him of exaggerating his health problems to avoid prosecution.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation