Chile high court releases report on secret Pinochet fortune

[JURIST] The Chilean Supreme Court released a report Friday detailing the secret fortune of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], estimating it at over $20 million. The report concluded that Pinochet's military salary accounted for less than 10 percent of the total. This report joins another on Pinochet's hidden assets released last September [JURIST report]. That report concluded that Pinochet amassed $25,978,602 in accounts held outside of Chile, of which $20,199,753 is suspected to have been embezzled from official funds. The September report also concluded that the funds were accumulated [Los Tiempos report, in Spanish] over the period from 1973 to 2004, when a US Senate sub-committee investigation first uncovered the accounts [JURIST report]. Victim advocates say Friday's report supports allegations [AP report] that Pinochet was the recipient of bribes and had other unlawful sources of income.

Investigations into the finances of Pinochet and his associates have continued since his death in 2006 [JURIST report]. Last December Spanish National Court judge Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] opened an embezzelment investigation [JURIST report] against four former Pinochet associates. Pinochet's youngest son, his former secretary, and his estate executor were previously indicted [JURIST report] for maliciously making false or incomplete tax declarations. In October 2007, 23 family members and former Pinochet associates were indicted [JURIST report] on corruption charges for aiding Pinochet in the "misuse of fiscal funds" during his regime. The following month, the Supreme Court of Chile upheld an appeals court decision to drop the charges [JURIST reports] because the accused were not government employees at the time and thus could not be charged with embezzling government funds.

 

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