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Chile court asked to strip Pinochet immunity in Spanish priest disappearance

[JURIST] Chilean Judge Jorge Zepeda asked the Santiago Court of Appeals [Chilean judiciary website] on Monday to strip former dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] of immunity in a case involving the disappearance of Antonio Llido, a Spanish priest who was a member of a socialist group opposing Pinochet's regime. Pinochet's secret police allegedly detained Llido in 1974 and tortured him, according to witnesses. Several agents have stood trial for Llido's disappearance, though there have been no convictions. If the court strips Pinochet of immunity in this case, Zepeda's investigation into Pinochet's role in Llido's disappearance could lead to an indictment.

Pinochet currently faces a host of other charges including multiple human rights cases stemming from his 1973-1990 rule and separate tax evasion charges [JURIST reports]. Pinochet's lawyers have argued he is unfit to stand trial because of dementia and other ailments, but the Supreme Court of Chile [official website] last year ruled [JURIST report] that Pinochet was fit to stand trial. Reuters has more. From Santiago, La Nacion has local coverage [in Spanish].

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