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Chile judge orders Pinochet arrest for prison abuses

[JURIST] Chilean federal judge Alejandro Solis ordered the arrest of former dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] Friday on charges in connection with 36 cases of kidnapping, 23 cases of torture and a single case of homicide at the Villa Grimaldi prison [Wikipedia backgrounder], an infamous political detention center allegedly operated by Pinochet's secret police between 1974 and 1977 in Chile [JURIST news archive]. Pinochet will reportedly be placed under house arrest, according to court sources. Pinochet previously denied knowledge of the Villa Grimaldi crimes [JURIST report] during his initial meeting with Solis October 18.

Pinochet was stripped of his sovereign immunity by the Supreme Court of Chile [official website, in Spanish] in September, upholding a January 2006 decision [JURIST report] of a Chilean appeals court that paved the way for the Villa Grimaldi charges. Pinochet was also stripped of his immunity [JURIST report] October 13 in another case involving the 1976 assassination of Pinochet's rival, Orlando Letelier [Wikipedia profile]. The 90-year old Pinochet also faces charges of tax evasion [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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