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Bank denies holding Pinochet gold stash

[JURIST] The Chilean office of the HSBC [corporate website] bank said Thursday that it has no accounts in the name of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] and that bank documents detailing Pinochet's alleged $160 million gold fortune supposedly held in its Hong Kong branch are forgeries. HSBC released the information following an order by the Santiago Court of Appeals [Chilean Judiciary website, in Spanish] and promises by the Chilean government [JURIST report] to send investigators to Hong Kong. Pinochet has been under investigation regarding his financial dealings since a US Senate committee found that he had millions of dollars in Riggs Bank in Washington, DC. He has been charged with tax evasion [JURIST report] related to $27 million he accumulated while in power and hid in foreign bank accounts.

Pinochet's lawyers and family have steadfastly denied that he has any holdings in gold. Pinochet also faces human rights charges stemming from his 1973-1979 rule after his immunity was lifted [JURIST report] in several cases. AP has more.

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