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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:16, December 05, 2006
Chilean court releases Pinochet on bail
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The fifth appeals court in the Chilean capital on Monday granted bail for former leader Augusto Pinochet Urugarte in the so-called Caravan of Death case for the murder of opposition figures in the 1970s.

The court's judges Alfredo Pfeiffer, Haroldo Brito and Luis Orlandini backed an earlier decision by judge Victor Montiglio, and set bail at around 1,890 U.S. dollars.

The prosecution lawyers Hiram Villagra, Hugo Gutierrez and Boris Paredes argued that Pinochet's family had exaggerated a recent health crisis as part of their defense strategy.

It was unlikely that Pinochet, 91, could have suffered a heart attack on Sunday and become apparently well in less than 24 hours, Gutierrez said, citing several cardiologists.

Pinochet's defense lawyer Pablo Rodriguez described the accusation as "an infamy," saying that Pinochet was subject to an unfair political prosecution.

Montiglio ordered Pinochet's house arrest on Nov. 27 as part of an investigation into the 1973 kidnap and murder of Wagner Salinas and Franscico Lara, the bodyguards of former left-wing president Salvador Allende whom Pinochet deposed on Sept. 11, 1973.

The Caravan of Death is the name given to a committee led by Gen. Sergio Arellano Stark that toured Chile in 1975 killing a total of 75 political prisoners.

Pinochet currently faces trial for four cases: the Caravan of Death Case, two other cases of widespread human rights abuses and one for embezzling up to 27 million U.S. dollars from the government.

Source: Xinhua

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