TNI Urges British Home Secretary to Extradite Pinochet to Spain And Vows to Continue Justice Campaign for Assassinated TNI Colleagues Letelier and Moffitt

TNI Press Release

24 January 2000
TNI

The Transnational Institute (TNI) joins human rights activists, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and legal experts in demanding the office of the British Home Secretary re-evaluate its decision regarding the medical state of former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

TNI and the Pinochet precedent

(Amsterdam, January 24, 2000) The Transnational Institute (TNI) joins human rights activists, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and legal experts in demanding the office of the British Home Secretary re-evaluate its decision of last week regarding the medical state of former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. TNI has been campaigning to bring Pinochet to justice since the murders of two TNI/IPS colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen-Moffitt, at the hands of Pinochet's agents, in 1976.

TNI requests that the British Home Secretary, release General Pinochet's medical records to Spain and to the other countries requesting extradition. If the Home Office is not able to provide the Spanish legal team with the results of the conducted medical tests, a second examination should be carried out in which Spanish doctors are allowed to participate.

Spanish Lawyer representing affected families and TNI Associate, Dr Juan Garcés, commenting on the Home Secretary's position argued, We will look into all legal remedies that could see Pinochet extradited to Spain. Straw should only consider Pinochet's mental health - or his ability to understand the charges brought against him and participate in his own defense - in this matter. If the Home Secretary releases Pinochet, the Spanish team will appeal through the British legal system.

TNI Director, Fiona Dove, in response to Jack Straw's announcement of last week that the British state would consider releasing Pinochet on compassionate grounds, Despite the fact that the Pinochet case has expanded the boundaries of international human rights law, I agree with TNI's former Director Orlando Letelier's son, Juan Pablo, in that it is 'beyond irony that a murderer such as Pinochet may be released for humanitarian reasons'. Regardless of Straws decision, TNI will continue to campaign for justice for our colleagues.

A court of law should ultimately determine the fate of General Pinochet and not a political figure such as Jack Straw, argued TNI Fellow Saul Landau.

TNI, IPS and US lawyers for the families of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffitt believe that the ongoing US Justice Department investigation into their murders must continue. Samuel Buffone, attorney for the families insists, Even if Pinochet is released, the investigations into his role in the Letelier-Moffitt murders and other atrocities should continue in the US and Chile.