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Goff Disappointed Pinochet Not Brought To Trial

Goff Disappointed That Pinochet Not Brought To Trial

Media Release
Hon Phil Goff
3 March 2000

GOFF DISAPPOINTED THAT PINOCHET NOT BROUGHT TO TRIAL

Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today that he regrets the fact that the former Chilean dictator, General Pinochet, has not been brought to trial.

Mr Goff said that he accepts the principle that a person assessed as medically unfit cannot be brought to trial.

"However, the fact that General Pinochet may now never be held to account will deeply disappoint the families of those who were victims of savage human rights abuses following the military coup in Chile in 1973.

"They understandably will feel that justice has not been done. Ironically the judicial system has been kinder to Mr Pinochet that his regime was to its many victims.

"Nevertheless, the International community can at least take heart that the principle has been laid down that dictators who are responsible for human rights abuses are no longer beyond the reach of the rule of law.

"The fact that he was arrested and that his claim of immunity was rejected has taken us a lot further along the road towards curbing human rights abuse around the world.

"It will reinforce the message that leaders whose regimes violate human rights will be vulnerable to international legal action."

ENDS


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