Pinochet’s family arrests

The Chilean government said Wednesday that the judicial process opened against former first lady Lucia Hiriart, wife of former dictator Augusto Pinochet, shows that in the country "nobody is above the law." Dictator’s wife was arrester together with his son, Marco Antonio Pinochet, who is in his 50s.

"In Chile, there are no privileged groups," said governmental spokesman Osvaldo Puccio, referring to the decision of Judge Sergio Munoz to order the arrest and indictment of 82-year-old Hiriart who was accused of complicity in a fiscal fraud.

The spokesman noted "the truth is always good, not only for the country, but also for individuals."

Judge Munoz, who has been investigating more than 100 bank accounts under false names in the United States and other countries, concluded that Pinochet was mainly responsible for the fraud, who was suspected to have amassed the 17 to 35 million US dollars during his 17-year ruling. The judge ordered the arrest of Hiriart at the military hospital in the capital due to her advanced age, said judicial sources, adding that the judge also interrogated one of Pinochet's sons, Marco Antonio Pinochet.

General Pinochet issued a communiquй denying any wrongdoing but also taking "full responsibility for the facts being investigated" by the judge, and "denying any participation whatsoever by my wife, my children, my closest advisers." The Pinochet family's lawyer said Ms. Hiriart had nothing to do with her husband's finances and he would appeal the charges.

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