Pinochet released on bail while recovering from heart attack

[JURIST] A court in Santiago granted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] bail from house arrest Monday as he remained hospitalized following a severe heart attack a day earlier. One of Pinochet's doctors, describing his condition today as "life-threatening" but stable, said he was awake and communicative after an emergency angioplasty was performed [JURIST news archive] to clear the artery blockage that led to the heart attack. If Pinochet continues to recuperate, the doctor said, he will stay in the hospital for a week or more.

Last week, a judge ordered that Pinochet be placed under house arrest [JURIST report] in connection with the executions of two of former President Salvador Allende's bodyguards during the so-called Caravan of Death [BBC backgrounder] that followed the coup in which Pinochet seized power. Pinochet, 91, publicly assumed full political responsibility [JURIST report] last month for the actions of his military regime, which ruled from 1973 to 1990. Although he enjoys general immunity from prosecution under the 1980 Chilean Constitution [text], Pinochet has slowly been stripped of this immunity [BBC report] in light of charges brought against him. Pinochet's previous health problems, including mild dementia, strokes and arthritis, have made his fitness to stand trial questionable [JURIST report]. AFP has more. AP has additional coverage. The Santiago Times has local coverage.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.