October 7, 1999

Italy wants former Pinochet security chief extradited

                  SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Italy has requested the extradition of a former
                  Chilean army general who was convicted for a 1975 assassination attempt in

                  Retired Gen. Manuel Contreras was sentenced in absence to 20 years in jail
                  by an Italian court for the attempted assassination of Bernardo Leighton, a
                  former Chilean Vice President and a prominent foe of the military regime of
                  Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

                  Leighton and his wife, Anita, were seriously wounded as they strolled on a
                  Rome street where they lived in exile.

                  Investigators traced the attempt to Pinochet's secret police, which Contreras
                  commanded at the time.

                  The foreign ministry said the extradition request filed by the Italian embassy
                  had already been relayed to Chief Justice Roberto Davila who must make a

                  If the extradition is granted, Contreras would only be extradited after
                  completing his term in prison, in 2001, for a separate assassination of a
                  former high-level Chilean official.

                  The Italian embassy refused to comment.