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Chilean appeals court says Pinochet able to stand trial for killings

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the Santiago Appeals Court ruled Friday that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [Wikipedia profile] is physically and mentally fit to stand trial for the alleged murders of brothers Hector and Guido Barria Bassay by agents of his regime in 1973. The ruling contradicts one a month ago by another panel of the appellate court which said Pinochet "lacks the aptitude to be the subject of a criminal proceeding" for allegedly being involved in ten killings by military dictatorships in Operation Condor [Wikipedia backgrounder] during the 1970s, but Pinochet lost his immunity from prosecution [JURIST report] for those human rights violations earlier this week. Additionally, in 2002 the Chilean Supreme Court said Pinochet was unable to mentally stand for trial for over 70 murders and disappearances in 1973. Pinochet is currently 83 years old and has suffered several minor strokes [JURIST report], but has recently been seen in public and information has surfaced regarding his efforts to hide his wealth and evade taxes, which contributed to the court's changed ruling. EFE has more.

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