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Chile appeals court drops two counts in Pinochet tax evasion indictment

[JURIST] The Santiago Court of Appeals [Chilean judiciary website in Spanish] Friday dismissed two charges against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] of forging Chilean Defense Ministry [official website, in Spanish] documents and failing to declare assets in a tax return, while upholding his tax evasion indictment [JURIST report] on other two other counts, including passport falsification. The indictment stems from an investigation of Pinochet's secret offshore back accounts reportedly worth at least $27 million and established by the former dictator under false names. Pinochet defense lawyer Pablo Rodriguez said he expects the remaining charges to be dismissed in the future, reiterating claims that Pinochet has already paid back taxes [JURIST report] on the funds.

Separately, Pinochet still faces charges of human rights violations occurring during his 1973-1990 rule. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet [BBC profile] said this week [JURIST report] that Chile [JURIST news archive] will continue to prosecute cases from the Pinochet regime. Reuters has more.

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