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Pinochet's Immunity Stripped in Human Rights Cases


A Chilean court has stripped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution so he can face new human rights charges in the cases of 29 people who disappeared during his rule.

The ruling was made Wednesday in Santiago and adds 29 cases to the nine for which Mr. Pinochet was originally indicted. Chilean law demands Mr. Pinochet's immunity be lifted on a case-by-case basis.

All the charges stem from an event known as Operation Colombo, in which some 119 political dissidents disappeared during Mr. Pinochet's rule in the mid-1970s.

Mr. Pinochet also has been indicted for tax fraud and other crimes related to some $27 million he allegedly hid in foreign bank accounts. His attorney has said he cannot be tried because of his health, but a court-ordered exam last month concluded Mr. Pinochet is fit to stand trial.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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