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Letter: Justice for tyrants

Sir: William Hague's statement about the continued detention of General Pinochet is appalling. To say that "... we should have sufficient respect now for the people of Chile to say enough is enough ..." and call for his release is staggering, displaying disrespect for the Chilean people.

The dictator's reign of brutal suppression cost thousands of lives. As head of the secret police, he cannot reasonably disclaim responsibility for this.

Before standing down, he amended the Chilean constitution, both that he might remain immune from prosecution and also to allow his continued influence to permeate the country. Chile is still a democracy under siege. For the leader of the Conservative Party to suggest otherwise is dumb- founding.

Pinochet shows no remorse whatsoever. He jokes about "the disappeared" and the discovery of mass graves.

Let us hope that Jack Straw does not take a similar view to William Hague, and let this monster off the hook.


London EN5