The prosecution of Pinochet, whose name became a virtual synonym for state-sponsored terror during his seventeen-year regime, has become a historic turning point for international and national efforts to hold him and other tyrants accountable.
Six weeks after the arrest in London of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the pressure on the administration of US President Clinton to indict the former Chilean dictator for murders his secret police committed here 22 years ago is mounting steadily.
With Pinochet's recent arrest in London, the US authorities should determine whether or not the evidence against the 'senator-for-life' has now reached a level at which his indictment in the Letelier case is appropriate.
Treading into a political and diplomatic confrontation it tried to avoid, the US has decided to declassify some secret government documents on the killing and torture conducted by the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
High-level US officials are discussing a possible extradition request to bring Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean strongman now held in London, to the United States to face questions the terrorist attack that killed Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt.
Survivors of a Chilean diplomat and his American aide who were assassinated in Washington by agents of former dictator Pinochet's government are urging the Clinton administration to reopen an investigation of Pinochet's involvement in the attack.
Whether former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is extradited to Spain will depend in the final analysis on a political decision by Spain's centre-right head of government, Jose Maria Aznar, say legal experts.
Judge Garzón, who works as an investigating magistrate rather than a judge on the bench, took more than five months to conclude that a Spanish court could have jurisdiction in the case against Pinochet.