The Miami Herald
March 9, 1999
Spain: Castro can't be tried

             MADRID -- (AFP) -- Spain's highest court on Monday ruled that the country has
             no jurisdiction to try Cuban President Fidel Castro because he is a head of state,
             while reaffirming its right to judge former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

             The National Audience said that the difference between the two was that Castro is
             still the leader of his country, whereas Pinochet left office in 1990.

             The court was examining a suit filed against Castro by a Cuban human rights group
             for torture, terrorism and genocide, the same charges that were made against

             Pinochet is under house arrest in England awaiting a verdict on whether he has
             immunity from prosecution and extradition to Spain.

             The National Audience based its ruling not on conventions on diplomatic relations
             signed in Vienna but on ``bilateral treaties signed by states and on international
             practice,'' it said.


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