The Pinochet Affair: Spanish judge has long list of killings

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The Independent Online
THE INDICTMENT against Augusto Pinochet drawn up by Judge Baltasar Garzon is a catalogue of sadistic murder, torture and terrorism carried out by the dictator's regime in Chile and abroad.

It lists 2,700 victims of Chilean military repression, including Spaniards, Brazilians, Argentines, Bolivians and other Latin Americans. Judge Garzon alleges thatGeneral Pinochet, through the Chilean secret police, Dina, contacted right-wing terrorist groups in Europe and elsewhere to orchestrate the assassination of political opponents including President Allende's military chief of staff, Carlos Prats, the Communist leader Carlos Altamirano, and Chile's former vice-president Bernardo Leighton.

In demanding that the general's assets should be frozen, the Spanish authorities indicated that the general may face a substantial fine on conviction. Under the country's laws no one over the age of 75 can be sent to prison.

The judge says that General Pinochet planned and carried out a campaign inside and outside Chile to "partially destroy a national group for ideological and religious reasons and partially eliminate an ethnic group, with degrading treatment". He describes the international co-operation with neighbouring dictators to eliminate political dissidents, the Condor Plan, directly implicating Pinochet and his right-hand man, the former head of the Dina, Manuel Contreras.

Judge Garzon directly attributes to the Dina and to General Pinochet the assassination of Chile's ambassador in Washington, Orlando Letelier. Other assassinations given prominence are those of 16 Spaniards - although he notes that this tally is not exhaustive. He details the detention, torture and death of the victims, including Carmelo Soria, a Spanish diplomat accredited to the United Nations.

The detailed investigation charts how dozens of detainees were given electric shock treatment, savagely beaten, and killed. Women prisoners were subjected to rape and other sexual abuse by members of Dina.

Judge Garzon's indictment is due to be sent in to the British authorities in the next few days.