Arrest Of General Pinochet


Sir, - It is about time that a mass murderer such as Chile's ex-dictator Pinochet was brought before the law. The world is full of havens to which such criminals have "retired" with total immunity. Should the Spanish judges not have a case against him, British and Chilean subjects in the UK should invoke the UNCAT (United Nations Convention Against Torture, Cruel and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment). Countries that have ratified this convention are obliged by law to bring to trial those within their borders who have been accused of such heinous crimes (whether they are nationals of that country or not).

Had Pinochet sought medical treatment (or refuge for that matter) in Ireland, the UNCAT could not be invoked as Ireland is the only EU country which has not ratified this convention. Ireland signed the convention in 1991 but has not ratified it. Should Pinochet be tried for his crimes, it would allow many of his surviving victims (and families of the dead ones) to obtain redress. It would also set a precedent for other dictators such as Saddam Hussein and his cronies. - Yours, etc., Mohammed H.Alsader,

Corrig Court, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.