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Pinochet Family Members Arrested in Corruption Case

Family members of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet have been arrested on corruption charges.

Judge Carlos Cerda Thursday ordered the arrest of Pinochet's widow, Lucia Hiriart, as well as the couple's five adult sons and daughters. Arrest orders were also issued for 17 other people, including Pinochet's former secretary, retired military generals and other former associates.

Judge Cerda said he took action because of solid indications that they had participated in the misuse of funds while Pinochet held power from 1973 until 1990. The Chilean government described the arrests as a strictly judicial decision.

The arrests are related to an investigation into multi-million-dollar accounts the former dictator held in banks in the United States and elsewhere.

The case is the latest to face the Pinochet family in connection with money believed to have been embezzled during the Pinochet era. Family members have previously been charged with tax evasion.

Pinochet died last December without facing trial on charges of embezzlement and violations of human rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.