Envoy Seeks Pinochet Deal in Spain; Let the General Face Justice in Chile, Says Minister Bidding to Stop Extradition

By Roberts, Bob | The Birmingham Post (England), November 30, 1998 | Go to article overview

Envoy Seeks Pinochet Deal in Spain; Let the General Face Justice in Chile, Says Minister Bidding to Stop Extradition


Roberts, Bob, The Birmingham Post (England)


Chilean Foreign Minister Mr Jose Miguel Insulza is to travel to Spain today in his continuing bid to stop the extradition of General Augusto Pinochet. Mr Insulza has told ministers it must be up to Chile to decide the fate of General Pinochet, but has promised he will face justice for alleged human rights abuses if he is allowed to return to his home country. Home Secretary Mr Jack Straw has to decide the extradition request from Spain on strictly legal grounds, but would be keen to seize any deal which would end the growing diplomatic row with Chile as well as meeting the demands of anti-Pinochet campaigners for justice. If Mr Insulza could persuade the Spanish authorities to drop their extradition request it would open the way for a face-saving deal to keep all sides happy. In a series of television interviews, Mr Insulza insisted there was no general immunity against the 83-year-old former dictator and that the 14 charges against him would be thoroughly investigated. In an apparent gesture to the European governments, Mr Insulza, who spent years in exile when General Pinochet was in power, also said Chile was ready to take new action to ensure speedy justice. "The Government is going to do even more to make sure that the investigation goes forward," Mr Insulza told the BBC's Breakfast With Frost programme. However, he also warned that Chile's transition to democracy could be disrupted if General Pinochet was extradited to Spain to face what he called "symbolic" justice. "We feel the delicate process of transition taking place in Chile for several years has been very successful one and we don't want it disrupted," Mr Insulza said "The only real chance to have some kind of justice and some kind of truth is in Chile where the events happened. …

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Envoy Seeks Pinochet Deal in Spain; Let the General Face Justice in Chile, Says Minister Bidding to Stop Extradition
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