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Chile's Pinochet again faces homicide charges


Former dictator ordered held under house arrest

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNN) -- A judge on Monday reinstated homicide and kidnapping charges against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and ordered him held under house arrest.

Judge Juan Guzman ruled that Pinochet, 85, should stand trial in connection with the so-called Caravan of Death, a military group that executed 75 political prisoners in the early weeks of Pinochet's 1973-90 dictatorship.

Lawyers for Pinochet, who remains in his coastal estate about 80 miles (128 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, are expected to try to block Guzman's order by appeal.

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The indictment comes two days after Pinochet was released from a hospital for treatment of what doctors described as a brief interruption of blood flow to the brain. Doctors had said Pinochet was at risk of suffering a stroke.

Guzman first ordered Pinochet's arrest on December 1 for his alleged involvement in the Caravan of Death.

Chile's Supreme Court blocked that arrest and told Guzman he first had to interrogate Pinochet and also allow psychological tests to be carried out on the general to assess his mental state -- a right for those over 70 facing trial in Chile. If he were declared insane or demented, he could avoid trial.

Guzman complied with the Supreme Court's requirements when he questioned Pinochet at his Santiago residence last Tuesday.

Mental tests were carried out mid-January and showed that Pinochet suffers from "moderate dementia."

Reuters contributed to this report.

Sources: army stance led Pinochet to agree to tests
January 9, 2001
Chile's Pinochet fails to appear for mental evaluation
January 7, 2001
Chilean court overturns Pinochet indictment
December 20, 2000
Chilean Supreme Court could rule on Pinochet case this week
December 18, 2000

Amnesty International: Pinochet
Pinochet Foundation (in Spanish)
Chile President (in Spanish)
Human Rights Watch: The Pinochet Prosecution
UK Home Office
Pinochet Victim's Page
Chile: Trial Against Pinochet in Spain

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