December 30, 2005

Pinochet stripped of immunity on embezzlement charges

Chilean Judge Strips Pinochet of Immunity.

SANTIAGO, Chile - Former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was stripped of his legal immunity Friday to face charges of diverting public funds to personal bank accounts.

Judge Juan Escobar, president of the Santiago Court of Appeals, said his tribunal voted 21-3 to remove the immunity Pinochet enjoys as a former president.

Friday's decision is part of a wider corruption-related legal process in which Pinochet also lost immunity against charges of tax evasion and secret overseas bank accounts totaling as much as $28 million. A person with legal immunity must be stripped of it separately in each case.

At this point, does it really matter?

Now don't misread that statement. I realize the necessity for making this monster stand trial for his crimes --- but you have to admit, there's a certain pressing urgency to try and convict Pinochet soon before his mind detiorates further or before he dies --- thus why all these motions to strip him of various levels of immunity are being pursued. If he dies before before being convicted (at least) and imprisoned formally, there will probably be a denial of closure for countless Chileans who suffered under his regime. (<---Understatement of the year.)

Posted by Kyer at December 30, 2005 02:34 PM | TrackBack