Chilean Supreme Court removes Pinochet's immunity

Chile's Supreme Court has ruled former military ruler Augusto Pinochet can face charges related to the killing of 119 dissidents.

Gen Pinochet is accused of direct involvement in the death of at least 15 activists in a 1975 secret police operation known as Operation Colombo.

It is the third human rights case in which the Supreme Court has lifted the former military ruler's immunity.

But in the previous two cases, a court ruled he was too ill to stand trial, reports BBC.

According to CBS, Pinochet is expected to be charged with the kidnapping and murders, as expressed in the original request the judge filed in a lower court to strip his immunity.

The cases involved the killing of 119 dissidents, but Pinochet's case would be limited to the 15 victims whose relatives filed a criminal suit against him.

The victims' bodies were found in neighboring Argentina in 1975 and the Pinochet regime at the time said they had died in clashes among rival armed opposition groups. It supported its claim exhibiting reports in two magazines — Lea of Argentina and O Dia of Brazil. But both magazines published only that issue and then disappeared.

Wednesday's ruling, which cannot be appealed, specifically authorized the judge handling the case, Victor Montiglio, to try Pinochet. Montiglio did not immediately announce his plans.

Pinochet was not required to appear in court and remained secluded at his guarded suburban Santiago mansion. His lawyers did not immediately comment.

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