French prosecutors call for Pinochet trial

French prosecutors initiated proceedings Saturday that will require French investigating magistrate Sophie Clement to decide within the next 6 weeks whether former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet should be tried in absentia for "illegal confinement accompanied or followed by acts of torture" of French citizens that disappeared under Pinochet's rule in the 1970s. The prosecutors began pursuing the possible trial of Pinochet following the Chilean government's removal of Pinochet's immunity for acts allegedly committed during Operation Condor. In related news, Fernando Melgarejo Bisama, Pinochet's former security chief, was arrested in Los Angeles this week following Judge Robert J. Barrett's rejection of his appeal for asylum. Bisama admitted to standing by while torture was performed on prisoners. Bisama said that he feared for his life if he was returned to Chile due to threats of reprisal against his action. Bisama is appealing the decision that would expel him from the United States. JURIST's Paper Chase has more on the ongoing Pinochet matter. BBC News has more on the French proceedings against Pinochet. The San Diego Union Tribune has more on Bisama.

 

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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