How The Drama unfolded

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The Independent Online
16 October: General Augusto Pinochet arrested in London at a hospital.

22 October: Lawyers for the general mount a legal challenge to his arrest.

24 October: Chilean government formally asks Britain to free him.

28 October: The High Court - with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, sitting - rules that General Pinochet has immunity from prosecution.

3 November: Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon formally asks for General Pinochet's extradition on charges of human-rights abuse.

9 November: The International Commission of Jurists says that General Pinochet does have immunity from prosecution.

12 November: The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has by now received extradition requests from France, Belgium and Switzerland as well as Spain.

25 November: The law lords rule 3-2 that General Pinochet does not have immunity from prosecution, with Lord Hoffmann casting the decisive final vote.

9 December: The Home Secretary gives authority to proceed for the Spanish extradition request.

10 December: General Pinochet's lawyers ask the law lords to set aside the earlier judgment because of Lord Hoffmann's links with Amnesty International.

11 December: General Pinochet appears at Belmarsh magistrates' court, south London, and says he does not recognise the jurisdiction of any court other than Chile's.

17 December: The law lords overturn previous House of Lords ruling. New hearing set for January.