USA Today
December 8, 1998

Pinochet judge in charity flap

                 LONDON - A judge who ruled Gen. Augusto Pinochet does not have
                 immunity from arrest is a director of a charity run by Amnesty
                 International, the group campaigning for the former Chilean dictator to
                 face charges of genocide and murder acknowledged Tuesday.

                 The controversy over Lord Justice Leonard Hoffmann's links to Amnesty
                 International was the latest twist in the tug-of-war over Pinochet, who was
                 arrested in London on Oct. 16 on a Spanish warrant.

                 Pinochet supporters Tuesday stepped up the pressure on Britain to refuse
                 Spain's request for his extradition, demonstrating outside Prime Minister
                 Tony Blair's Downing Street office.

                 ''Take your hands out of Chile!'' they shouted.

                 ''We are widows of members of the armed forces and policemen that
                 were killed in terrorist attacks by Marxist terrorist groups in Chile,'' said
                 Veronica Vallejos, who handed in a letter on behalf of 700 families
                 urging Britain to send the 83-year-old general home.

                 Home Secretary Jack Straw must decide by Friday whether extradition
                 proceedings can go ahead, following the 3-2 ruling Nov. 25 by five
                 judges of Britain's highest court, the House of Lords, against Pinochet.

                 Pinochet is awaiting Straw's decision under police guard in a rented mansion at
                 Wentworth, 20 miles west of London.

                 A Chilean government report says 3,197 people were murdered or disappeared at
                 the hands of the secret police during Pinochet's 1973-90 rule after he overthrew
                 Salvador Allende, an elected Marxist. But Chile's government wants him back, partly
                 to avoid exacerbating domestic tensions and threatening the country's newly built democracy.

                 Amnesty International said Hoffmann, an opponent of apartheid who
                 settled in Britain in the '60s after moving from his native South Africa,
                 has served since 1990 as the unpaid director and chairman of Amnesty
                 International Charity Ltd. which gets donations for work on human

                 His wife, Gillian, also a South African, is a secretary in Amnesty
                 International's press office in London.

                 Hoffmann, 64, and his wife had no involvement in the Pinochet
                 campaign, said Amnesty International spokeswoman Soraya Bermejo.
                 She accused Pinochet supporters of trying to divert attention from the
                 basic issue of whether the former dictator should be tried.

                 ''There are many lawyers who have links with human rights
                 organizations,'' Bermejo said.

                 ''In fact, when Lord Hoffmann was appointed to this case we saw him
                 as being slightly unpredictable on a human rights,'' she added, noting
                 that he recently ruled against a man sentenced to death sentence in the
                 Bahamas, a former colony which allows appeals to Britain's highest

                 In the Pinochet case, the five judges - in an usual move - allowed
                 lawyers for Amnesty International to make representations.

                 By The Associated Press