Chile renews extradition request for German doctor

25th July 2013, Comments 0 comments

Chile's top court approved a renewed request Thursday seeking the extradition of a German doctor convicted as an accomplice to rape and sexual abuse in a former cult-like community.

Harmut Hopp was considered the right hand man of Paul Schaefer, who founded the strictly governed Colonia Dignidad in 1961 and died in prison in 2010 at age 88 while serving a 20-year sentence for child abuse and torture.

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court accepted a petition filed by the special judge in the case, Hernan Gonzalez, after Hopp fled to Germany in May 2011.

A Chilean court sentenced Hopp to five years in prison after he was convicted of being an accomplice in four rapes and of 16 counts of sexual abuse of minors.

Chile has previously sought Hopp's extradition, but the request was rejected by Germany.

The court's ruling states that although there is no extradition treaty between Chile and Germany, Berlin should grant the request on the basis of international law.

Hundreds of Germans lived in the secretive community in southern Chile, which supported itself through farming and was also used to hold political prisoners during the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship.

With the country's return to democracy, the colony was closed. Some of its inhabitants received financial and psychological help from the Chilean government while some returned to Germany.

© 2013 AFP

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