Pinochet immunity stripped in Chile

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The Independent US

Chile's Supreme Court has ruled that Gen. Augusto Pinochet should be stripped of his immunity from prosecution, paving the way for charges of alleged human rights abuses be filed against the former dictator.

Chile's Supreme Court has ruled that Gen. Augusto Pinochet should be stripped of his immunity from prosecution, paving the way for charges of alleged human rights abuses be filed against the former dictator.

The court's 20 judges voted 14-6 against Pinochet' keeping his shield from prosecution as a senator in the upper house of Chile' Congress.

Human rights lawyers fought to have Pinochet's immunity remove because of his alleged involvement in a "Death Caravan" that slaughtered political opponents after his forces ousted elected socialist president Salvador Allende in a bloody 1973 coup.

More than 3,000 people died or disappeared during Pinochet's 1973-1990 reign. Supporters of the former leader, now 84, revere him as the patriotic saviour of the nation who stopped Chile from turning into Marxist state under Allende.

The ruling cannot be appealed.

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