The Accuser of Pinochet Spells Out the Charges
By AL GOODMAN
-- A Spanish judge indicted Gen. Augusto Pinochet Thursday "for the crimes
genocide, terrorism and torture" during his 17-year dictatorship in Chile, a key step toward his
trial in Madrid if he is eventually extradited from Britain.
indictment lays out the most detailed case to date against Pinochet, 83,
who has been
under arrest in London since Oct. 16. It will be sent to support a Spanish extradition request, which
Britain's home secretary ruled on Wednesday could go forward in English courts. Extradition
proceedings could last for months.
1973 coup, the indictment charges, he created and led a "criminal organization"
supported by Chile and five other South American countries to kill or cause the disappearance of about
3,000 opponents of his right-wing regime.
Garzon, who drew up the indictment, also issued the arrest warrant for
October and later decreed a worldwide embargo on his assets, which the indictment reiterated. It
declared that Pinochet is "provisionally" liable for undetermined civil damages stemming from the
human rights charges.
The judge has
so far asked investigators to search for Pinochet's assets only in the
Switzerland and Luxembourg, and the search has only just begun, a Madrid court official said.
The charge of
genocide is included in the indictment, even though Home Secretary Jack
that genocide was not an extraditable crime in Britain.
The final charges
will depend on the extradition conditions set by the English courts and
court's interpretation of them, said Manuel Murillo, a Madrid lawyer for families of the victims of
repression in Chile.
detailed a "fierce repression" that it said began with Pinochet's coup
on Sept. 11,
1973, which ousted President Salvador Allende Gossens, and continued until 1990.
control in Chile, the indictment says, Pinochet arranged for coordinated
against Chileans and citizens of other countries with the help of military leaders in Argentina, Paraguay,
Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil.
It named more
than 2,500 victims, including Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean foreign
an American, Ronni Moffitt, who died when a bomb exploded in their car in Washington in 1976. The
indictment says the bombing was carried out by Chile's secret police on orders from Pinochet.
In London, meanwhile,
Pinochet's lawyers asked the House of Lords Thursday to reconsider its
judgment last month that Pinochet does not enjoy sovereign immunity from arrest.
A spokesman for
the five Law Lords, who make up England's highest court, said no one had
to appeal one of the court's decisions. The petition will be discussed by a committee of the Law Lords,
who will decide whether to have a full appeal hearing.
was believed to center on a charge of potential bias against Lord Hoffmann,
cast the decisive vote in the 3-2 decision and who, it has emerged, has been an unpaid director of a
charity for Amnesty International since 1990. A lawyer for Amnesty and other rights groups was
permitted to take part in the presentation of the case against Pinochet.
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