Letter: Pinochet's law

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The Independent Culture
Sir: As a Chilean exile, I believe there are many reasons why Pinochet should not be sent back to Chile.

There are still many disappeared in Chile. There have only been two successful prosecutions in 25 years and last month a female judge was sacked for refusing to pass on a case to the military courts. A case in Chile against Pinochet would most definitely go to a military court, where Pinochet would be welcomed by old friends (all protected by the same amnesty law he wrote himself). A successful criminal prosecution is practically impossible.

The crimes committed under Pinochet are against international law on human rights and therefore it is correct for them to be judged internationally.

If the Government is seriously considering letting Pinochet go back to Chile then I believe it is their responsibility to ensure that Pinochet is actually tried in a criminal court with independent judges in a fair and correct manner. Without such a guarantee, the only decision should be extradition. Chile has had 25 years to bring Pinochet to justice; let us celebrate next week's 50 th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights with justice.


Kingston upon Thames, Surrey