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The Moral Dilemmas about Trying Pinochet in Spain

Goti, Jaime Malamud
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Lukas H. Meyer, ed., Justice in Time: Responding to Historical Injustice. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Pp. 299-313.

In 1998, the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was in London, England, receiving medical treatment. A Spanish court, having gathered evidence implicating Pinochet in thousands of abuses perpetrated in Chile under his regime, as well as crimes beyond Chile, requested the British government to arrest Pinochet and extradite him to Spain for trial. After arresting him to consider the Spanish court’s claims, the British government sent Pinochet back to Chile as being too frail to undergo trial in Spain. Those judicial proceedings were fraught with many questions and controversies of jurisdiction, national sovereignty, immunity for heads of state, national and international law, and responsibility for injustices and human rights violations. In this context, Jaime Malamud Goti investigates the merits and demerits of international criminal justice in prosecuting state criminals.


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