For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
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Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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NAMA Wine Lake >>
Mrs Pinochet & 4 children under House Arrest
crime and justice |
Monday January 23, 2006 22:57 by iosaf
:["The wife and five children of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet were arrested on Monday on tax evasion and fraud charges as part of an investigation into secret, multimillion dollar bank accounts.
Officials of the court who asked not to be identified said Judge Carlos Cerda ordered the arrest of Pinochet's wife, Lucia Hiriart, and their children on charges of filing "maliciously incomplete" and false tax declarations involving millions of dollars. Cerda also ordered the arrests of Monica Ananias and Oscar Aitken, a personal secretary of Pinochet and the former executor of Pinochet's will."]:
Pinochet at 90 seems most likely to be prosecuted for his tax affairs than Operation Condor or his dictatorship. All other cases have been stalled, often for reasons of his "ill health". The result has been a slow and probably ardous (for all concerned) process of battle after battle on so many fronts. Nor is this the first time his children or wife have been arrested _on his account_. Indeed dodgy dealings seem quite normal for the Pinochet clan, a son was prosecuted three years ago for selling second hand cars without proper documentation.
The result is somewhat of a "sham" leading some to the opinion that though stripped of immunity, the Pinochet trials are still too divisive when their logical conclusion is met - what is the sentance to hand down?
But in light of the recent election on the 15th of January 2006 of Michelle Bachelet as
the first agnostic, socialist, twice divorced mother of three children woman president of Chile, its a "development".
some stories don't end.
["Among the first arrested on Monday were Marco Antonio, Pinochet's youngest son, and his daughters Lucia, Jacqueline and Veronica. In separate charges revealed in a later document, his eldest son, Augusto, was arrested for falsification of official documents.
Pinochet's wife and four of the children will be detained under house arrest until Tuesday at least, when an appeals court will decide whether or not to grant them bail.
Augusto was released later in the day after his lawyer paid 100,000 pesos ($188) in bail, which was set without the need for an appeals court decision.
"My lawyer has paid my bail, and I am at home waiting for the rest of my family to be granted their liberty tomorrow," he told Reuters by telephone.
Last year Pinochet paid about 1.2 billion pesos (more than $2 million) in back taxes owed on the money in foreign accounts. His defence team has said the funds come from legitimate sources.
"We are fighting against a system, but we're doing okay," Augusto said.
Pinochet's wife and youngest son were previously indicted as accomplices in tax evasion, accused of using false documents and passports to help move the money among secret accounts.
His wife was briefly detained, and his son Marco Antonio Pinochet was jailed for a few weeks in August until he was released on bail.
At the time, Pinochet said he took "all responsibility for the facts being investigated," and that his wife and family had nothing to do with the money in offshore accounts.]: