Appeals Court rejected to dismiss charges against Pinochet

A Chilean appeals court rejected a bid by former dictator &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Augusto Pinochet to dismiss charges for crimes allegedly committed during his 17 years in power.

The three-judge panel of the appeals court in Santiago acted unanimously, Miguel Gonzalez, a court spokesman, said in a telephone interview. Pinochet's lawyers said they would file an appeal with the Supreme Court later today, informs Bloomberg.

According to Reuters, the Santiago Appeals Court denied a defense motion filed last week seeking to stop the case against 89-year-old retired Gen. Pinochet, who was still in the hospital after hospital officials said he suffered a mild stroke on Saturday.

Critics said the hospital stay was a Pinochet strategy to evade charges of murder and kidnapping in the 1970s disappearances of 10 leftists under &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Operation Condor, a South American spy network aimed at eliminating political opponents to military leaders . "The injunction was rejected by three votes to zero, that means unanimously," Juan Escobar, one of the three judges on the appeals court, told reporters.

The only previous time a human rights case against Pinochet reached this stage in Chile's courts, the appeals court threw out the charges with a 2001 ruling that his mild dementia made him too ill to stand trial.

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