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Chile court says Pinochet fit to stand trial on rights charges

[JURIST] A panel of judges from the Santiago Appeals Court ruled Friday that human rights charges [JURIST report] against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] can proceed, rejecting the defense's arguments that Pinochet is too ill to stand trial. Pinochet was charged last week in connection with the kidnapping and disappearance of six dissidents in 1974 after they were arrested by his security officers as part of Operation Colombo, [Wikipedia backgrounder] a 1970s government campaign which led to the disappearances of over 100 political opponents. Pinochet is also facing unrelated corruption charges [JURIST report]. Human rights charges have been brought against Pinochet three times in the past five years, but each time courts have thrown out the cases due to Pinochet's poor health. Pinochet can appeal Friday's decision to the country's supreme court. AAP has more. From Santiago, La Nacion has local coverage.

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