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Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Pinochet says God will forgive him.

Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, has declared that God will pardon him for human rights abuses committed during his 17-year rule, according to newly released court documents.

Asked by Chilean judge Victor Montiglio about the killing of 3,000 Chilean civilians during the military government, Mr Pinochet, 89, said: "I suffer for these losses, but God does the deeds; he will pardon me if I exceeded in some, which I don't think."

Extracts of court documents, released to human rights lawyers on Monday, show Mr Pinochet to be coherent and precise in his answers. When questioned about his decision to take power in the coup of September 11, 1973, against then-president Salvador Allende, Mr Pinochet said: "Everything that I did, all that I carried out, all the problems I had, I dedicate to God, all this I dedicate to Chile because this permitted that the country was not communist and arose as it is today."

It is being interpreted by Pinochet critics as proof of his mental acuity. Manuel Cabieses, editor of Punto Final, a Santiago weekly newspaper, said: "This shows what we all know, he is an old fox and that he can find the exact words to justify what he did."

Mr Pinochet provided a convoluted and contradictory denial when Judge Montiglio asked about the military chain of command. "I don't remember, but it is not true," said Mr Pinochet, when asked whether as Chilean president he was the director of the bloody intelligence agency known as the Dina.

Mr Pinochet's interrogation follows court decisions that again open the possibility that he is mentally fit to stand trial. The current investigations focus on alleged money laundering and responsibility for 15 deaths in Operation Colombo, a 1975 massacre of opponents of the military regime.


It makes you wonder what Henry Kissinger thinks about God. Does he think that God will forgive him for his part in that other September the 11th, the one which brought Pinochet to power? Or does he think that God will agree with his now infamous quote?


"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."


It's probably what Tony Blair thinks about those who voted against 90-day detention without trial.

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