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  HOME | Chile

Australian Court Defers Decision on Bail to Ex-Chilean Secret Police Agent

SYDNEY – An Australian court deferred on Thursday its decision on a new bail petition of a woman, who worked for Chile’s secret police and is wanted in her country on charges of kidnapping during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in the South American nation.

Chile had requested the extradition of Adriana Rivas in 2014 over her alleged involvement in seven kidnappings between 1974-1977, when she was an agent of the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), or the Chilean secret police, during the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship.

The Federal Court of Australia deliberated on the appeal filed by Rivas’ lawyers against a ruling in June by a criminal court in New South Wales denying her bail.

“Judge (Jane) Abraham reserved her ruling,” said attorney Adriana Navarro, who represents the relatives of the victims linked to the case.

The lawyer explained that “normally judges have up to three months to issue a judgment, although in cases that have to do with a person’s release they do so promptly and we hope that in this case, it will be very soon.”

Rivas applied for bail after her arrest in February in Sydney and Chile’s extradition request.

That extradition request is being processed in another court in New South Wales, where a new hearing is scheduled on Nov. 6.

Rivas has another appeal pending against the decision of the Australian Attorney General to extradite her, the hearing for which will take place on Nov. 1.

“You have to understand that she has already said that she will use all possibilities and possible resources to object to every ruling against her. If she does this, we foresee about two or three years of hearings,” Navarro said.

During Pinochet’s dictatorship, Rivas was a close aide of DINA director, Manuel Contreras, who was one of the main figures of the Chilean dictatorship. He died serving more than 400 years in prison.

Rivas has lived for more than three decades in Australia, where she worked as a baby sitter and a house cleaner.

She was arrested in 2006 when she visited her family in Chile, but escaped to Australia, jumping a bail.

According to the testimonies of those tortured during the dictatorship, Rivas was one of the most brutal interrogators at the notorious Simon Bolivar Barracks.

According to official data, during the Pinochet dictatorship, some 3,200 Chileans died at the hands of state agents, of whom 1,192 are still listed as missing, while some 33,000 were tortured and imprisoned for political reasons.

 

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