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Chilean court says Pinochet must face charges over "disappearances"

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Chilean court says Pinochet must face charges over "disappearances"


The former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has lost an appeal before the Supreme Court and must face charges in connection with the disappearance of left-wing opponents of his regime in the 1970s.

The panel of five judges ruled by three against two to reject the defence argument that the health problems of the 91-year-old made him unfit to stand trial. In the last five years Chile’s courts have thrown out cases against him because of his mild dementia and frequent mini-strokes, but a new medical panel says his symptoms had been exaggerated. Pinochet will initially be charged over the abduction and presumed murder of six people. Three other cases are still being considered. More than 3,000 people were killed during Pinochet’s rule between 1973 and 1990. In what became known as Operation Colombo, 119 members of the Revolutionary Leftist Movement were taken away, never to be seen again. Pinochet’s government is accused of covering up the events by planting news stories claiming that rival members of the group had killed each other.
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