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Former Secret Police Chief Accuses Pinochet of Atrocities

A can of soda and a poster of a missing dissident are thrown at Ret. Gen. Manuel Contreras, center, as he is rushed by police out the Supreme Court building
The former head of Chile's secret police has accused former dictator Augusto Pinochet of ordering the atrocities committed during his 17-year military rule.

In a 32-page document, submitted Friday to Chile's Supreme Court, retired General Manuel Contreras, who led the dreaded National Intelligence Directorate, accused Mr. Pinochet of personally ordering the killings of 500 political opponents. He said most of the missing bodies were dumped in the Pacific Ocean.

The former intelligence chief says Mr. Pinochet also authorized the 1976 Washington car bombing that killed a former Chilean foreign minister.

Human rights groups expressed skepticism of most of the charges in the document, saying that Contreras, who is currently in prison for his role in the wave of killings during the Pinochet era, is only trying to protect himself by blaming the atrocities on his former boss.

Mr. Pinochet has been indicted twice for war crimes, but the courts have ruled that the 89-year-old former dictator is too ill to stand trial.