Historic decision on the crimes of the chilean dictatorship

Press release
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Today, Friday 17 December 2010 at 5pm (Paris), 1pm (Santiago de Chile), the president of the penal court of Paris gave its decision in a historic case regarding the enforced disappearance of four franco-chileans: Georges Klein, Etienne Pesle, Alfonso Chanfeau y Jean-Yves Claudet, detainees disappeared during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda and Pedro Espinoza Bravo were condemned to life sentence; Hernán Julio Brady Roche, Marcelo Luis Moren Brito, Miguel Kraznoff Martchenko to 30 years imprisonment; Gerardo Ernesto Godoy García, Basclay Humberto Zapata Reyes, Enrique Lautaro Arranciaba Clavel, Raúl Iturriaga Neumann, Luis Joaquim Ramírez Pineda, José Osvaldo Riveiro to 25 years imprisonment, Rafael Francisco Ahumada Valderama to 20 years and Emilio Sandoval Poo to 15 years imprisonment.

« They have been condemned for the arrest, abduction and illegal detention with the use of torture, reflecting the grave crimes committed during the 17 years of the dictatorship against thousands of chileans, their families and all the society » declared Viviana Uribe, president of the CODEPU (Corporacion de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos del Pueblo).

None of the accused were present during the trial even though they had received a summoning from the french court. They were not even represented by a lawyer.

Between the 8th and the 17th of December 2010, the families of the 4 victims were accompanied by witnesses, experts and personalities from the field of human rights who came from Chile and other countries. A large audience followed with attention the hearings and the 8 days of debate of this landmark trial.

For the first time in the history of Chile, the justice system of another country identified and punished the acts committed by these perpetrators.

« We hope that this decision will encourage the Chilean justice to act quickly, transparently and independently in relation with the grave human rights violations committed during the dictatorship » said Claude Katz, the lawyer representing FIDH and LDH.

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