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Chile court reopens probe of ex-president’s death

May 19, 2015

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A court in Chile has ordered the reopening of an investigation into the 1982 death of former president Eduardo Frei Montalva.

Frei Montalva was a prominent critic of dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. He died suspiciously after a routine hernia operation.

An appeals court in Santiago on Tuesday ordered the reopening of the case, which had been closed since October 2014.

Six people, including doctors and former Pinochet agents, were charged in 2009 with conspiring to poison Frei Montalva. A daughter of the former leader says he was killed using mustard gas and thallium.

Frei Montalva was succeeded by Salvador Allende as Chile’s president. When he died at age 71, he was becoming an opposition force against Pinochet, who began his 17-year dictatorship by ousting Allende in a 1973 coup.

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