Pinochet Ruling: The Story So Far

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The Independent Online
22 September: Pinochet, a regular visitor to Britain, is welcomed by the Foreign Office after a flight from Chile during which he experiences back problems.

30 September: Pinochet, 82, is told that he must have surgery.

5 October: Pinochet has drinks with Baroness Thatcher.

9 October: Pinochet undergoes surgery in London.

14 October: The 5th Central Magistrates Court in Madrid contacts the Metropolitan Police, via Interpol, about Pinochet.

15 October: The Chilean Embassy tells the Foreign Office that Pinochet is planning to leave Britain on 20 October.

16 October: Pinochet is arrested shortly before midnight after magistrates at Bow Street, London, issue a warrant under the Extradition Act 1989, citing the offence of murder.

17 October: Scotland Yard announces his arrest. The Spanish warrant charges that between 11 September, 1973, the year he seized power, and 31 December, 1983, Pinochet murdered Spanish citizens in Chile.

19 October: Pinochet vows to fight extradition.

21 October: Tony Blair denies that Britain is acting for political reasons.

22 October: Baroness Thatcher calls for Pinochet's release, saying he saved British lives during the Falklands conflict. Lawyers acting for Pinochet launch a legal appeal for his release and seek a judicial review of his detention. An emergency hearing at the High Court is adjourned to give all sides an opportunity to prepare their cases fully.

23 October: Eduardo Frei, the Chilean president, urges Britain to free Pinochet on humanitarian grounds. Robin Cook insists that neither the Government nor the police discussed Pinochet's visit to Britain with the Spanish authorities before his arrival.

26 October: Pinochet was involved in the deaths of "at least 4,000 people" and sent agents to Spain to kill political opponents, Alun Jones QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, argues in the High Court.

28 October: Pinochet wins his High Court battle against his arrest and detention. He remains under arrest "pending determination of any appeal".

29 October: Pinochet is moved to a private psychiatric hospital, Grovelands Priory Hospital, in Southgate, north London.

30 October: Pinochet is granted bail at the High Court - as long as he remains under police guard at the clinic.

2 November: A French magistrate signs a warrant seeking Pinochet's extradition from Britain.

4 November: In the first day of the Lords appeal Alun Jones QC, for the CPS and Spanish authorities, says that Pinochet must be denied sovereign immunity because he was not head of state at various junctures.

6 November: The Spanish government formally asks Britain to extradite the former Chilean dictator.

7 November: In his first public statement, Pinochet says: "A show trial in a foreign land is not justice. It is certainly not British justice."

12 November: The panel of five law lords defers judgment.

25 November: Law lords rule that Pinochet is not immune from arrest.