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Pinochet fingerprints, mug shot taken by Chile police as rights case proceeds

[JURIST] Chilean police have taken fingerprints and a mug shot of former dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] as part of his indictment over Operation Colombo [Wikipedia backgrounder], in which at least 119 dissidents were allegedly murdered during the early years of Pinochet’s dictatorship. Nine separate indictments relating to Operation Colombo were joined [JURIST report] earlier this month. Pinochet, 90, insists that all of the deaths occurred as a result of clashes between rival opposition groups. The Supreme Court of Chile [official website, in Spanish] Monday ruled that Pinochet is fit to stand trial [JURIST report], affirming a lower appeals court decision [JURIST report] that Pinochet’s mild dementia, diabetes and arthritis do not hinder his ability to stand trial. Previous charges against the former Chilean leader have been thrown out due to his poor health, but doctors testified before the Supreme Court that Pinochet exaggerated his symptoms to avoid trial. Pinochet has also been indicted on tax evasion and corruption charges [JURIST report] relating to his foreign bank accounts and has been under house arrest since his indictment on November 24. BBC News has more.

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