Adriana Rivas, a former agent of the Pinochet regime and accused in Chile for the disappearance of seven people in the 1970s, appeared this Thursday by videoconference from prison before the plenary session of the Federal Court of Australia, to appeal a ruling against his extradition to the South American country .
In the virtual trial, which was seen for sentencing, Rivas’s lawyer, Frank Santisi, based his arguments on the fact that “there is the Chilean Amnesty law” in Chile that has not been repealed by Parliament and insisted that it cannot be ” punish what is unpunished “.
saintisi He was referring to the law passed on April 18, 1978, which protects the perpetrators, accomplices or accessories to crimes perpetrated during the Pinochet dictatorship from September 11, 1973 – the day of the coup – until March 10, 1978.
The appeal is against a ruling handed down on October 29, 2020 by a local Sydney court and ratified on June 24 by the Australian Federal Court in favor of the extradition of this 68-year-old Chilean charged with seven counts of aggravated kidnapping.
If the extradition is confirmed by this court, Rivas would have as a last escape the High Court of Australia, but to be able to resort to this instance should show that there was an error in the procedure.
During today’s hearing, two of the three magistrates, Debbie Mortiner and Robert Bromwich, were particularly incisive with the arguments of Rivas’s defense, considering that they led them to a “complete dead end” and that they question the “central principles “of the extradition law.
It is presumed that the Chilean, who has been detained and held in a Sydney city prison since February 2019, He was part of the Lautaro extermination brigade of the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA, Augusto Pinochet’s secret police), where she became the secretary of Manuel Contreras, head of this unit.
For Navarro, “Chile is obliged” to comply with the international treaties that it has signed and therefore “crimes against humanity are not prescribable and cannot be amnestied.”
“The amnesty law is a headless argument and can only be seen in Chile,” he added.
Chile seeks to extradite Rivas, who defends his innocence and considers that he is the victim of political persecution, for his alleged participation in the “aggravated kidnapping” of Víctor Díaz, who was undersecretary of the Communist Party of the South American country, in 1976, and six others activists, including a pregnant woman. Rivas traveled with her then husband to Australia in 1978, where she later lived in subsidized housing in the Bondi neighborhood of eastern Sydney, and spent 30 years cleaning and babysitting.
In 2006, she traveled to Chile, where she was arrested for the cases related to her extradition, although she later managed to escape and return to Australia three years later.