Lawyers to speak for Chile

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The Independent Online
THE CHILEAN government will be represented at the new law lords hearing into whether General Augusto Pinochet should face extradition to Spain.

The government in Santiago, which wants the former dictator to be freed, was given permission yesterday to make submissions at the hearing, due to start next week. It will have the right to "intervene", as will the civil rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which want General Pinochet tried.

Lord Browne-Wilkinson, the chairman at yesterday's Lords hearing, confirmed The Independent's report that a senior law lord had stepped down from the new panel to judge the case after objections from General Pinochet's lawyers.

A decision that the general does not have immunity from prosecution was set aside by fellow law lords because of Lord Hoffmann's failure to declare his links with Amnesty.

The Independent reported yesterday that Lord Woolf, Master of the Rolls, was not included in the new panel after the general's legal team objected to his fund-raising links with Amnesty.