New legal chapter opens in Pinochet case

07 June 2004 by INGRID SEYMAN

On 28 May 2004, the Santiago court of appeal stripped former military leader Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution. If the Chilean Supreme Court confirms this ruling, the 88-year old ex-dictator could stand trial for his part in Operation Condor, a coordinated campaign in the 1970s by several Latin American military dictatorships to assassinate hundreds of suspected opponents.

When the Santiago Supreme Court ruled on 1 July 2002 that Augusto Pinochet's health was too frail for him to appear in court, the chances of ever seeing the former dictator stand trial in Chile looked minuscule. Indeed, over the last two years, the appeal court rejected two separate requests to strip Augusto Pinochet of his immunity, on the grounds that the Supreme Court had already ruled on the case. Pinochet's "mild dementia", diagnosed in 2002, seemed to be shielding him from any legal proceedings in his country.

"I have nothing whatsoever to apologise for" says Augusto Pinochet

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

article
07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

article
07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

article
07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

article
07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.