The Miami Herald
Jan. 06, 2004
Five Pinochet officers sentenced in rights case

From Herald Wire Services

SANTIAGO -- A court on Monday refused to apply a controversial amnesty law issued by the former dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and sentenced five retired army officers to prison in a human rights case.

The Santiago Court of Appeals ruled that the amnesty cannot be applied in the 1975 disappearance of a dissident after his arrest by Pinochet's security services. As long as the dissident, Angel Sandoval, remains missing, his case must be considered a kidnapping, and therefore an ongoing crime.

Retired Gen. Manuel Contreras, chief of Pinochet's feared security service, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Two other retired generals, one colonel and one sergeant were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 15 years. The case will now go the Supreme Court for a final ruling.