Chilean justice turns down Italian extradition request
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's chief justice turned down an Italian request
Thursday for the extradition of former Chilean army Gen. Manuel Contreras,
who was convicted of a 1975 political assassination attempt in Rome.
Chief Justice Hernan Alvarez did not offer an explanation for the decision.
Lawyers representing the Italian government did not immediately announce
whether they planned to appeal the decision.
The general was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in jail by an Italian
the attempted assassination of Bernardo Leighton, a former Chilean vice
president and prominent foe of the 1973-90 military regime of Gen. Augusto
Leighton and his wife, Anita, were shot and seriously wounded as they strolled
through Rome, where they lived in exile. Investigators traced the attempt to
Pinochet's feared secret police, known as DINA, which Contreras commanded
at the time.
Contreras is to complete a seven-year prison term next month for the 1976
assassination in Washington of Orlando Letelier, another prominent Pinochet
opponent, who was killed along with an American aide, Ronni Moffitt, when a
bomb blew up the car they were in. The assassination was also traced to DINA.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.