Chile's top court turns down Italian
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's Supreme Court turned down on Tuesday an
Italian request for the extradition of a secret police chief who was convicted of a
1975 assassination attempt in Rome.
The ruling upheld a previous decision by Chief Justice Hernan Alvarez to
the extradition of retired Gen. Manuel Contreras, who headed the secret police
under former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Contreras was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in jail by an Italian court
attempted assassination of Bernardo Leighton, a former Chilean vice president
and prominent foe of the 1973-90 Pinochet's military regime.
Leighton and his wife, Anita Fresno, were shot and seriously wounded as
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. The court ruled that there was not evidence of the
security service in the attack.
Leighton has since died and his widow is still alive.
Contreras is to complete a seven-year prison term next week in Chile for
1976 assassination in Washington of Orlando Letelier, another prominent
Pinochet opponent. Letelier 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.