CANBERRA, Australia ( Associated Press) — A 69-year-old Chilean woman wanted in Chile on kidnapping charges dating back to Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship in the 1970s faces extradition from Australia after a court rejected your last possible resort.
Adriana Rivas had appealed to Australia’s highest court after three Federal Court judges unanimously rejected her appeal for extradition to her native country in November.
But Australia’s High Court issued a certificate on Monday saying his application was abandoned due to unspecified procedural lapses by his lawyer.
Rivas has waged a three-year legal battle to prevent his return to Chile for the alleged kidnapping of seven people in 1976 and 1977, including the leader of the Communist Party, Víctor Díaz, and Reinalda Pereira, who was also a member of the party and was pregnant. of five months.
Rivas worked as an assistant to Manuel Contreras, director of the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), the secret police during the Pinochet dictatorship. Rivas denies ever knowing the alleged victims, whose bodies have never been found.
The end of the judicial process paves the way for the Australian attorney general to take the last step and approve the extradition.
But after the call for elections on April 10, the current executive is provisional and the final decision could be made by the person who takes office after the May 21 elections.
Michaelia Cash’s office said in a statement Tuesday that it would be inappropriate to comment on Rivas’ case because “this process is not yet complete.”
The prosecutor should give a reasonable time to consider all the arguments that Rivas wants to offer against his extradition.
Adriana Navarro, a Chilean-born, Sydney-based lawyer who defends Pinochet’s victims, said she suspects Rivas was hoping to drag out the process by requesting an extension of the deadline.
“Clearly, the families are not going to allow that,” said the lawyer, alleging that Rivas could ask a court to review the Attorney General’s decision to send her back to her country.
Rivas’ lawyers maintain that he was not a DINA agent and that his work there was mundane. His chores included picking up laundry, making coffee and translating, they added. In addition, they affirmed that the alleged victims were detained after arrests, they were not kidnapped, and that this was an action of the State, not of private individuals.
Rivas moved to Australia in 1978 and was arrested in Chile during a family visit in 2006. She was released after a few months on parole and fled to Australia in 2009.
She lived quietly in the wealthy eastern suburbs of Sydney, where she worked as a part-time nanny and cleaner, until she was arrested in February 2019 under an extradition order from the Chilean Supreme Court.
He would be the first person extradited from Australia to Chile.