Attorneys Laud Supreme Court Ruling



1117, Of. 632 Huerfanos, Santiago
Telephone: 6953223

August 27, 2004

The Supreme Court has confirmed the Santiago Court of Appeals ruling that deprived the former dictator Pinochet of immunity from prosecution. Regarding this decision, the American Association of Jurists, Chilean Branch, states:

1. We commend the ruling that, for the second time, has stripped Pinochet of immunity from prosecution for the atrocious series of crimes known as Operation Condor, committed in the Southern Cone by the sinister DINA in conjunction with repressive entities of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. This "operation," an expression of international terrorism and political genocide repudiated throughout the world, was headed by Pinochet. Under his leadership, the initial meeting to create Operation Condor was convened in Santiago in November 1975.

2. The Supreme Court ruling is an important step forward in bringing an end to impunity, and it encourages us to redouble our efforts in the fight for justice. Above all, it is a victory for family members of the victims of repression who have never tired and never ceased to demand Truth and Justice.

3. Deprived of immunity, Pinochet has the same legal conditions as any other defendant, and in this case, probable cause of his involvement in the crimes has been amply established. Consequently, the Code of Criminal Procedure must now be applied, beginning with the initial defendant declaration and indictment of Pinochet as set forth in law.

4. Regarding the medical examinations the defense may request, these must be conducted after the indictment and must be carried out by competent institutions, with experts assigned by plaintiffs and in presence of the lawyers of both sides. Procedures must be conducted in an efficient and impartial manner.

5. The American Association of Jurists urges human rights advocates to continue the fight against impunity and for justice, and to seek full compliance with principles and norms of international law that prohibit amnesties and statutes of limitations in crimes involving human rights violations.

Graciela Alvarez, President
Juan Subercaseaux,Secretary
Fabiola Letelier del Solar
Eduardo Contreras
Julia Urquieta
Ramon Vargas





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