The Pinochet Affair: Indictment gives details of evil acts

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The Independent Online
AUGUSTO PINOCHET orchestrated "diabolical" acts of genocide, torture and international terrorism, the Spanish judge driving the extradition efforts said in the criminal indictment he presented to the Spanish national court yesterday.

Judge Baltazar Garzon's 285-page document is the most detailed version of the case against General Pinochet, which Spanish lawyers have been building for two-and-a-half years.

The judge sought an embargo on General Pinochet's bank accounts. He stated his wish to take a statement from General Pinochet "once he is available" and promises to pass the document to Britain.

The indictment lists 2,700 victims of Chilean military repression, including Spaniards, Americans, and people from most Latin American countries. The judge describes how General Pinochet masterminded an international campaign against his political opponents, enlisting the help of the Argentine and Latin American dictatorships.

Judge Garzon said the operation was aimed at "developing and executing a systematic criminal plan of detentions, kidnappings, tortures followed by death, forced displacement of thousands and the selective disappearance of about 3,000".

The document describes the coup of 11 September 1973 that caused the overthrow and death of Salvador Allende, and General Pinochet's direct involvement in the subsequent massacres that swept Chile.

It describes how he directly controlled the Chilean secret police, Dina, which carried out the atrocities and how he contacted right-wing terrorist groups abroad to orchestrate the assassination of opponents.

The document describes the secret detention centres and the way priests, women, young children, Mapuche Indians and Jews were attacked. The judge lists the victims and the circumstances of their deaths. These lists form nearly two-thirds of the indictment.

Judge Garzon argues that the amnesty law approved during General Pinochet's regime rules out a trial in Chile, and that the gravity of the charges require him to face trial either in Britain, where he was arrested, or in Spain, which is seeking his extradition. This is the first Spanish mention of a possible British trial.