Chile says $4.8-mn to be returned to Pinochet's family
Chilean former president (2006-2010) Michelle Bachete participates in ceremony in Villa Grimaldi, which was used as a detention and torture center during the dictatorship (1973-1990) of Augusto Pinochet, in Santiago, on September 10, 2013. (AFP PHOTO /MARTIN BERNETTI)
(AFP) - A Chilean appeals court Wednesday ruled that $4.8-million in cash and assets frozen during a legal investigation is to be returned to the family of late longtime dictator Augusto Pinochet.
In a split ruling that still could be appealed, the Chilean court ordered "to return money and property seized from the family of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte" worth $4,894,638.
The assets have been seized by the courts since the investigation of the so-called Riggs case in 2004.
The assets to be returned to the heirs of the Chilean ex-dictator who was in power from 1973 to 1990 are 24 properties, three vehicles and seven bank accounts, according to the ruling.
In the same decision, six retired army officers were acquitted of misappropriating public funds, reversing a ruling handed down by Judge Manuel Valderrama in 2013.
Valderrama had condemned officers who served in the Chilean Military House and would have helped Pinochet to hide part of his fortune in Washington's Riggs bank.
In connection with the Riggs case, Pinochet was exonerated, as a former president. He was acquitted after his death, at 91, of a heart attack in 2006.
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