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BREAKING NEWS ~ Pinochet indicted in Chile for tax fraud, corruption

[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] has been indicted on tax evasion and corruption charges, and has been put under house arrest pending trial.

9:59 AM ET - The charges stem from an investigation into secret offshore back accounts under false names set up by Pinochet that were found to hold some $27 million. The accounts came to light in 2004 after a US Senate money laundering investigation [Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing video, testimony] of Pinochet's dealings with Riggs Bank. Pinochet, who turns 90 later this week, has been indicted twice previously on human right-related charges, but both those cases were thrown out after he was found unfit to stand trial. Last month Chile's Supreme Court stripped Pinochet of state immunity [JURIST report] for tax evasion, allowing the present case against him to proceed. Pinochet's lawyers say that the former leader has already paid back taxes [JURIST report] on the accounts and is innocent of any wrongdoing. Reuters has more.

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