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Chile court strips Pinochet of immunity in additional rights cases

[JURIST] A Chilean appeals court on Wednesday stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC News profile; JURIST news archive] of immunity from prosecution for the disappearance of an additional 29 leftists under his regime. The ruling allows the 29 cases to be joined with nine others for which Pinochet was previously indicted [JURIST report] and declared fit to stand trial [JURIST report]. The kidnappings were part of Operation Condor [Wikipedia backgrounder], a campaign by Pinochet's security forces against political opponents. The cases have individually worked their way in a halting fashion through Chile's court system, often barred by the immunity that Pinochet enjoys as a former president. The fallen leader also faces corruption and tax evasion charges [JURIST report] and was questioned [JURIST report] in connection with the death of an army officer this week. A lawyer for Pinochet said they would appeal the most recent ruling to the supreme court. From Santiago, La Nacion has local coverage. AP has more.

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