[JURIST] Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley [official profile] announced Wednesday that government officials have requested a probe into allegations that former Chile dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] stashed approximately nine tons of gold in a Hong Kong bank, as reported [article, in Spanish] by El Mercurio [media website, in Spanish]. Pinochet's lawyer vehemently denied the rumors, which Foxley called "grave." The State Defense Council [official website, in Spanish], the body co-ordinating Pincohet's prosecution for economic crimes, has been tasked with confirming the reports but has not revealed how the reports came to the Foreign Ministry or if more information had been substantiated.
Pinochet has been charged with tax evasion [JURIST report] related to $27 million he accumulated while in power and stashed in foreign bank accounts. Although the judiciary stripped Pinochet's immunity [JURIST report] in the case, he has yet to face trial due to his oft-appealed defense of infirmity. Reuters has more.