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Chile judge sentences Pinochet secret police chief for 1974 car bombing

[JURIST] A Chilean judge Monday sentenced General Manuel Contreras [TrialWatch profile] to two consecutive life terms in prison for a 1974 car bombing that killed another general and his wife. At the time of the bombing, Contreras was the head of the country's infamous secret police, the National Intelligence Directive (DINA), under former dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive]. The sentence is the longest that has yet been given to a member of Pinochet's regime and will only symbolically increase the more than 60 years in prison that Contreras has already been sentenced to for other crimes. McClatchy has more. Patagonia Times has local coverage.

In April, Contreras was sentenced [JURIST report] to 15 years in prison for his role in the 1974 disappearance of a political dissident. In January, a Chilean appeals court sentenced [JURIST report] Contreras to 10 years in prison for his role in the kidnapping of seven neighborhood leaders from La Legua in December 1973. In November 2007, Chile's Supreme Court affirmed seven convictions and overturned one [JURIST report] in cases involving murders committed by state agents during Pinochet's 1973-90 regime. The court based that decision on the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials], finding that Chile was in a state of internal armed conflict when the murders occurred.

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