Santiago urges chiefd of police to resign

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(First Edition)

SANTIAGO (Reuter) - Chile's government Tuesday pressured put pressure on General Rodolfo Stange, the Chief of police, to reconsider and resign from his post following accusations that he obstructed the search for truth and justice regarding inquiries into the brutal slayings murder of three human rights workers in 1985.

The clash between the civilian administration and the military, the first since the administration of President Eduardo Frei took over March 11, last month, shows the limits of Chile's 1990 return to democracy in 1990, after 17 years of military rule. Despite the government's will, General Stange, appointed by Chile's former military ruler leader General Augusto Pinochet in 1985, cannot be dismissed by Mr Frei, according to the 1980 constitution drawn up by the military.

A government spokesman, Victor Rebolledo said: 'The President has manifested the convenience of his (General Stange's) resignation as a patriotic gesture toward the institution and the country, but General Stange, unfortunately, has not responded positively to the request . . . We trust that General Stange will reconsider,.' the government spokesman Victor Rebolledo. told a news conference Tuesday.

Stange, The police chief, who has been strongly backed and applauded by his institution colleagues since the allegations were brought against him, cannot be forced out but he must 'examine' his conscience', German Correa, the Minister of Interior, German Correa has said.

Earlier Tuesday, General Stange failed to co-operate with the government when he publicly refused to resign over allegations brought against him by Investigating Judge Milton Juica and said he will would stay on as police chief until the investigation is exhausted.

'I will not resign,' Stange told a news conference after a meeting with President Eduardo Frei.

General Stange, 68, was accused by Judge Juica last Thursday, week, together with the former police chief Cesar Mendoza, and four other former generals, of obstructing justice and the non-fulfilment of its dereliction of military duties following the slayings. .