Pinochet to face new legal threat

18 October 2004 by Arnoud Grellier

A new legal front against Augusto Pinochet could begin on 5 November when Chile's Appeals Court examines another request to strip the former dictator of his legal immunity. The demand was filed on 5 October by the daughters of Carlos Prats, the former commander-in-chief of the army and ex vice-president, who was murdered in Buenos Aires in September 1974.

Arguing his motion to Judge Alejandro Solis, counsel for Prats' daughters, Hernan Quezada, referred to "suspicions raised during the investigations in Argentina and Chile over Augusto Pinochet's involvement in the case". Judge Solis has already convicted seven former members of the army and the former secret police - including its leader Manuel Contreras - for the car bomb attack that claimed the lives of Carlos Prats and his wife Sofia Cuthbert. Prats, who opposed the Pinochet-backed coup d'Etat of 11 September 1973 that overthrew Socialist president Salvador Allende, sought refuge in Argentina, where he was killed on 30 September 1974. "There are indications that former president General Pinochet participated" in the murder, Judge Solis told Press Association. As a result, the judge decided to bring the case before the Santiago Appeals Court, causing more complications for the
former dictator.

"Moderate dementia"

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