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.
Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile as a despot for 17 years, has been arrested in London after Spain asked that he be extradited for the presumed murders of hundreds of Chilean and Spanish citizens.
While recently declassified documents are conspicuously lacking in information about the US role in helping Pinochet take and consolidate power, they are rich in detail about the inner workings of his bloody regime.
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.
The argument over what action to take against Saddam Hussein is driven by the rhetoric of war. But can peaceful, legal action against Iraq's ruthless dictator be effective? The long campaign to bring Augusto Pinochet of Chile to justice offers an encouraging precedent.
The former colleagues of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt - in the NGO where they worked at the time of the assassination - have politically and emotionally pressured Chilean and North American authorities in order to achieve the extradition of the General.