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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Chile's Pinochet goes to hospital instead of courts

Former dictator was admitted after a stroke, but opponents say that it's all a fake to elude justice

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was admitted in hospital on Tuesday after suffering a mild stroke, according to his collaborators. However, soon after his spokesman said that his condition was “serious”, doctors announced that he was “stable” and he will "remain hospitalized for observation", which sparked speculations about his well known tactics to elude justice requirements.

This time, speculations are well grounded. A court hearing was scheduled for Wednesday on whether Pinochet will be stripped of the immunity from prosecution he enjoys as former president to allow his trial in a rights case. The Santiago court had to postpone de hearings on a case in which Pinochet is accused for the assassination of 119 opponents during his rule (1973 – 1990).

Pinochet, 89, has suffered similar episodes in recent years, including several strokes. The retired general's relatives rushed to the hospital after he was brought there from his suburban Santiago mansion. His son Marco Antonio said Pinochet remained unconscious for about 30 minutes.

Pinochet has repeatedly exaggerated his health problems to escape trial and is often hospitalized minutes before a court is about to rule on some of the multiple suites he faces. Allegations against Pinochet range from human right abuses – tortures, assassinations, disappearing of people - to corruption scandals.

According to doctors that treat him, Pinochet suffers from a mild case of dementia, diabetes, arthritis and has a pacemaker, and courts have cited his health twice to block his trial. In the meantime, his crimes remain unpunished.

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