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Pinochet loses immunity

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Santiago, Chile

Chile’s Supreme Court last week stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses committed during his 17-year rule. Prosecutors can now investigate whether to charge him for the deaths of 19 Chileans in the 1970s during Operation Condor, a joint crackdown on dissidents by South American dictators. The court removed Pinochet’s immunity once before, in 2001, but the retired general’s lawyers successfully argued that he suffered from dementia and was unfit to stand trial. The court reconsidered after Pinochet, 88, gave a lucid December interview to a Miami television station. “Nobody is above the law,” government spokesman Francisco Vidal said.

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