France to put 17 Pinochet associates on trial

21st February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 21, 2007 (AFP) - A group of 17 associates of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet will go on trial in absentia before a French court, a judicial source said Wednesday.

PARIS, Feb 21, 2007 (AFP) - A group of 17 associates of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet will go on trial in absentia before a French court, a judicial source said Wednesday.

The trial, set to start possibly as early as next year, will mark the first time that members of the Pinochet regime, which is blamed for some 3,000 deaths and disappearances, face justice.

The 17 defendants include Manuel Contreras, founder of the secret police under Pinochet, and Paul Schaefer, who founded Colonia Dignidad, a sect and camp for political prisoners in the Andes mountains.

They will face charges of illegal arrest, detention and false emprisonment in connection with the disappearance of four French citizens in the 1970s.

Pinochet, who ruled Chile between 1973 to 1990, died in December at a military hospital in Santiago, at the age of 91.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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