Pinochet to stand trial over 1974 murder

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The Independent US

A Chilean court stripped the former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution in a third criminal case yesterday, this time for the alleged assassination of a Chilean general and political foe in 1974.

A Chilean court stripped the former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution in a third criminal case yesterday, this time for the alleged assassination of a Chilean general and political foe in 1974.

The Santiago Appeals Court has removed General Pinochet's automatic immunity twice before but he has eluded trial on mental health grounds.

General Carlos Prats, who was commander-in-chief of army before General Pinochet seized power in a military coup in 1973, was living in exile in Buenos Aires when he and his wife were killed by a car bomb. More than 3,000 people died or vanishedduring Pinochet's 1973-90 military regime, but Pinochet, 89, has never been convicted in any of the human rights cases against him.

"The facts of this case merited the stripping of immunity, and we will now take the legal steps to make him face the proof we have against him," said Pamela Pereira, a lawyer for the Prats family.

Enrique Arancibia Clavel, a former Chilean spy, is serving a life sentence in Argentina for his involvement in the assassination.

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