The New York Times
November 3, 1998
France Seeks Arrest of Chile's Pinochet

          By REUTERS

          PARIS -- A French judge on Monday issued an international warrant for the arrest of Chile's
          former dictator Augusto Pinochet, who is under police guard in a London hospital awaiting a
          ruling on an arrest warrant from Spain.

          The French warrant was issued by investigating Judge Roger Leloire in connection with his
          investigation into the disappearance of Frenchmen Marcel Amiel-Baquet, Rene Chanfreau and
          Etienne Pesle during Pinochet's rule in the 1970s.

          The investigation was ordered last week by the Paris state prosecutors' office which must now
          formally demand Pinochet's provisional arrest pending a formal request for his extradition.

          Justice authorities said they expected the prosecutors' office to act within 48 hours.

          The judge's action set off a race against the clock with the House of Lords, the upper house of the
          British parliament, which will hear an appeal on Wednesday of a judgment by London's High Court
          which found last week that Pinochet was immune from prosecution and should thus be freed.

          Pinochet has been released on bail pending the appeal.

          The House of Lords is expected to issue its ruling on Wednesday or Thursday on the validity of the
          Spanish arrest warrant against Pinochet on the grounds of torture and genocide.

          Should the House of Lords decide to throw out the Spanish warrant and free Pinochet before the
          French arrest order arrives, the former general would probably leave Britain immediately and render
          the French judicial action irrelevant.

          French lawyer William Bourdon, representing the families of Amiel-Baquet and Chanfreau, said
          freeing Pinochet would harm Britain's image.

          "The House of Lords has an enormous responsibility. If they decide to release him on grounds he
          benefits from diplomatic immunity, they will look like supporters of the most bloodthirsty of
          torturers... The European community would judge this very harshly," he said.

          Pinochet was arrested in London on October 16 after undergoing medical treatment. His arrest was
          based on on a warrant from Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon.

          Judicial authorities or lawyers in several other European countries are also trying to bring the
          82-year-old general to book, including Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and

          In addition to an arrest warrant, the French judge also issued a series of questions for Pinochet.
          These would also be formally transmitted to London, to be asked by British police on France's
          behalf should they arrive while Pinochet was still there.

                     Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company