Monitor: Comment on the decision not to extradite General Pinochet

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The Independent Culture
CHILEAN PUBLIC opinion has realised, during these days in which Pinochet has been deprived of his freedom, the extreme levels of politicisation and disinformation that characterise the European version of national events in the last quarter century. Given the gross historical inexactitudes that have been flying around, we suppose that political considerations will prevail over juridical ones. The British judges have shown surprising courage and independence. The court ruling has helped to calm the country and is a first step towards putting behind us an episode that has wounded the dignity of many Chileans.

El Mercurio, Chile

THE DOCTRINE that the High Court in London has invented for this occasion is extremely dangerous. By adopting it, the UK could become a paradise for all deposed dictators. According to this, not even Hitler could have been tried. If this absurd doctrine is not rejected by the Lords, anyone who became head of state and government by whatever means would enjoy for the rest of their days immunity in the UK, even though they were guilty of robbery, torture and mass murder.

El Mundo, Spain

IT IS not difficult to conclude, despite the legal verdict, that Pinochet, with his detention in London, has been morally condemned at an international level. European countries have been queuing up in recent days to condemn him. He may have won the legal battle, but morally he has not escaped scot-free. Nothing will be the same again, not for Chile, nor for dictators. The former dictator will not be tried in Chile, where he is protected by the military, but he will never again be able to travel the world freely as if he had never hurt a fly.

La Vanguardia, Spain

BRITAIN'S HIGH Court did not examine the substance of the crimes that Judge Garzon attributes to Pinochet, but limited itself to covering up with diplomatic immunity all the acts carried out by the Chilean ex-dictator. Pinochet will be able to regain his freedom and return to Chile in the air force plane that is waiting for him in a nearby airport, unless Britain's highest court rectifies the decision, which is very unlikely. Many heads and former heads of state accused of various crimes will now sleep more soundly. The ruling has extracted the governments of both Spain and Britain from a tight corner, and probably helped avoid problems in Chile. But how can we forget his crimes and leave his victims without redress?

El Pais, Spain