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Pinochet questioned by Chile judge in ex-army chief assassination probe

[JURIST] Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] was questioned Monday by Judge Alejandro Solis about the assassination of General Carlos Prats [official profile, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile] shortly after Pinochet came to power following a 1973 coup [BBC backgrounder]. Prats, the army chief before Pinochet, opposed the coup. Solis said Pinochet answered all the questions and that there were no problems during the meeting. Pinochet's lawyer added that Pinochet answered the questions to the best of his ability, even in failing health.

Pinochet has denied involvement in the Prats assassination. An agent from Pinochet's security services was convicted [BBC report] in 2000 of direct participation in the assassination, and several others have been indicted. Last year, the Chile Supreme Court [official website] reinstated immunity for Pinochet in the Prats case, after he appealed a lower court ruling [JURIST reports] stripping Pinochet of immunity. Pinochet, however, currently faces other human rights and tax evasion charges [JURIST reports] despite efforts to avoid prosecution due to his failing health. AP has more. From Santiago, La Nacion has local coverage.

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