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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Families Demand Pinochet Probe




LONDON -- Relatives of three Chilean dissidents who disappeared after General Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup asked Scotland Yard on Friday to launch a criminal investigation.


The request was hand-delivered to Scotland Yard's reception desk by the relatives, members of the Chile Committee for Justice, one day before the coup's 26th anniversary.


"Police ... still have not apparently launched an investigation. They've received information, but they don't do anything about it,'' said Andy McEntee, chairman of Amnesty International U.K., who accompanied the relatives.


Alex Hathaway, spokeswoman for Scotland Yard, said she wasn't aware of an investigation but that the letter would be passed on to an officer for consideration.


Pinochet is under house arrest outside London, while fighting efforts by a Spanish judge to extradite him on charges of human rights abuses stemming from his 1973-90 rule.


The 83-year-old general was arrested last fall while recuperating from back surgery in London. His extradition case is scheduled to begin Sept. 27.


"The fear is that the thing will collapse in the extradition courts, Pinochet will head off and police will say 'Oh well, we've left it too late,'" McEntee said.