Chilean army officers 'killed folk singer'

A Chilean government lawyer is seeking to have four retired army officers arrested for the killing of the folk singer Victor Jara during the 1973 coup.

Jara was also a theatre director, a Communist and a supporter of Chile's Socialist president, Salvador Allende. During the coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power on 11 September 1973, he was detained in a stadium along with 5,000 other leftists. Pulled from the crowd, he was tortured and machine-gunned by the military. The killing turned Jara into an international symbol of resistance to the Pinochet government, which lasted until 1990.

The legal case targets retired army officers Edwin Dimter, Hugo Sanchez and Raul Jofre, and ex-prosecutor Rolando Melo, an Interior Ministry official said.

Some witnesses have accused Dimter of being the military officer, known only as "the Prince", who led torture and killings at the stadium and is believed to have been responsible for Jara's death. Dimter has denied killing Jara, and sued a journalist who wrote an article identifying him as "the Prince".

So far, the only person to be prosecuted for Jara's killing is a former conscript, Jose Paredes Marquez, 56, who proclaims his innocence.

An autopsy in 2009 found the folk singer died from dozens of gunshot wounds all over his body.

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