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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | Pinochet's wife and son charged

BBC NEWS | Americas | Pinochet's wife and son charged Pinochet's wife and son charged
A judge has charged the wife and son of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet as accomplices in a multi-million dollar tax fraud case.

Lucia Pinochet was detained at the military hospital in Santiago, where she has been receiving treatment.

The couple's youngest son, Marco Antonio Pinochet, is being held at a police station in the capital.

The case relates to offshore accounts where Gen Pinochet and his family allegedly hid more than $13m (£7m).

Investigating judge Sergio Munoz ordered Mrs Pinochet's arrest, having interviewed her last month for the second time in a year.

"Nobody in Chile is above the law," said Osvaldo Puccio, the government secretary general.

Fraud allegations

Gen Pinochet was stripped of his legal immunity from prosecution in June over alleged crimes linked to the secret accounts.

The allegations were over tax evasion, false declarations, avoiding an assets embargo and the use of false passports.

The general's lawyers have launched an appeal against the decision with the Supreme Court.

Gen Pinochet's lawyers said all the money in the accounts was legitimately earned, but he has offered to pay back taxes on some of the money.

Gen Pinochet, 89, headed a military junta from 1973 to 1990, during which more than 3,000 people died in political violence.

The courts have so far ruled the general is too ill to be charged over human right abuses during his presidency.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4139388.stm

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