Augusto Pinochet's officers on trial over missing French citizens

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Fourteen officials from Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship went on trial in absentia in Paris on Wednesday over the disappearance of four French citizens in the mid-1970s.

The Frenchmen were among more than 3,000 leftists murdered for political reasons during the 'Dirty War' during the 1973-1990 rule of Gen Pinochet. Many "vanished", likely kidnapped and killed, then buried in unmarked graves, leaving relatives unable to properly mourn their dead.

None of the accused was in the courtroom. But the families of the four men were present, some clutching black and white photos of the disappeared, as the judge read out charges of kidnapping, arbitrary detention, torture and barbarous acts.

Among the 14, most of them military officers, was Manuel Contreras, the former head of the feared Dina secret police in the Pinochet regime....

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