ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Gotcha, Finally?

with 2 comments

The Times reports:

“‘AUGUSTO PINOCHET, the 90-year-old former dictator of Chile, was branded a “grave danger to society” as he was placed under house arrest in Santiago yesterday by the judge investigating his role in cases of torture and kidnapping during his time in power.

Judge Alejandro Solís charged the general with 35 kidnappings, one homicide and 24 cases of torture in the Villa Grimaldi case. Villa Grimaldi was a secret police prison that became one of Chile’s most infamous torture centres during the military’s “dirty war” against left-wing opponents.

This is the first prosecution for torture to proceed against the former general.

“General Pinochet has been notified of his prosecution for kidnapping, one homicide and torture, and has been detained as a grave danger to society considering the gravity of the crimes. But, owing to his age, he has been granted house arrest,” Señor Solís said. On Friday the judge dismissed efforts by General Pinochet’s legal team to have the case dropped on the ground of health.

Señor Solís said that he found the former ruler lucid for his age.

General Pinochet will turn 91 next month and his legal team claims that diabetes and a series of strokes have left him suffering from mild dementia. He seized power in a violent coup in 1973, when he overthrew the democratically elected communist leader, Salvador Allende.

The Government of General Pinochet oversaw the secret kidnapping and killing of left-wing opponents. Tens of thousands were tortured and 3,000 were killed or disappeared. Among the former inmates of the Villa Grimaldi are Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean President, and her mother. The general denies any knowledge of abuses at the centre.

The effort to bring the former military leader to trial has long been a cause célèbre for human rights campaigners. He was first arrested in 1998 while in London for medical treatment, after an extradition request from Spain. But Jack Straw, then the Home Secretary, ordered his release in 2000, saying that he was medically unfit to stand trial.

Efforts to bring him to justice have since switched to Chile, where he has lost a number of rulings, including being stripped of his parliamentary immunity in 2002. In September the Supreme Court threw out his legal team’s argument that he was medically unfit to stand trial in the Villa Grimaldi case.

As well as the gathering case against him for human rights abuses, General Pinochet faces prosecution for fraud and tax evasion. His wife and children have also been charged as part of the investigation into his finances, undermining support for him among Chileans, who believed that the abuses of his regime were a price worth paying to prevent the country turning into “another Cuba”.

GENERAL’S TRAVELS

1973 Salvador Allende is killed in army coup. Pinochet dictatorship begins

1989 Democracy is restored after Pinochet steps down

1998 Pinochet arrested in London

2000 Pinochet unfit to face trial and returns to Chile

2004 Pinochet charged with murder and kidnapping”

Written by modernityblog

02/11/2006 at 00:35

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I’m posting this here in case you miss it on HP, from the Atzmon thread

    It appers Modernity that you think I am on trial here and you are the judge.

    If I do answer in the way you want you accuse me of being a fascist. Which shows again how unseriously you take the issue.

    Here is my dillema (and it is an honest one)

    On the one hand we have certain quotes from Mr A that are obviously inflammatory (the protocols one being the key example)

    On the other hand we have his vhemont denials of racism and other quotes which certainly could not have been made by a classic antisemite, for example from his website he says this (if i may quote)

    “Following the growing outrage of some Zionists as well as crypto Zionists at my critical writings, I find it important to mention that in none of my political texts or interviews have I ever used any kind of racially orientated arguments. My criticism of Zionism and Jewish identity is merely ideological and philosophical.

    For me racism is categorically wrong and it is that very realisation that made me into a devoted opponent of Israel and of Zionism.

    Anyhow, in case you in find an idea or a thought in my writings that may contain a trace of racism please contact me immediately. I will then either clarify my position or amend my text.”

    Hardly sounds like the rantings of a latter day Nazi now does it?

    There is also, and I realise what a ideological minefield this is, the point that Mr A is himself Jewish and a citizen of Israel and also the fact that he too lost family in the holocaust.

    So therfore I am not at the moment convinced either way on the question you pose. I’m still considering it.

    Now if you want to believe that makes me a Nazi, or that I, by having doubts, have failed some ideological test that is your right.

    However, until I myself have made a decision I’m not going to pretend I have just to satisfy your good self.

    I have tried to respond to your hate filled post above as fairly, honsestly and calmly as I can. I do however deeply, deeply object to your statement that I am “Strasserite filth”

    You should take the time to think before polluting a discussion with that type of smear.

    Best Regards

    James

    Sonic

    02/11/2006 at 02:30

  2. I am following the thread on HP my comments are there

    ModernityBlog

    02/11/2006 at 18:59


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