Laureani Maturana and Krassnoff Marchenko (Sandoval Rodríguez) (Appeals)


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Crimes Against Humanity | Deprivation of Liberty

Themes: Related Crimes | Characteristics of the Crime

"The Court found that the victim’s detention amounted to the crime of ""qualified kidnapping"" in domestic law, but did not find it prove that this resulted in the victim's death. The Court held that the crime of kidnapping corresponded to the crime of enforced disappearance as defined in the Inter-American Convention on the Enforced Disappearance of Persons. The Court highlighted how Chile, as a party to that treaty, was obliged not to frustrate its object and purpose. It added that, although the Inter-American Convention had not been incorporated into domestic law, enforced disappearance constituted a serious offense to inalienable human dignity and a crime against humanity, as enshrined in various international instruments signed by Chile. Recalling that the Constitution granted constitutional status and a higher hierarchy to treaties that guarantee respect for human rights, the Court found them directly applicable by the State. It therefore concluded that the crime of kidnapping included, as one of its consequences, enforced disappearance.
The Court found five persons responsible. In particular, it found the director of the National Intelligence (in charge of the detention centre), the head of the operational group (responsible for apprehending people) and the head of the detention centre (who directly participated in the torture of detainees) responsible as authors of the crime. The Court found a member of the National Intelligence and a member of an operational group (providing services to the National Intelligence) responsible as accomplices. All of the perpetrators were also perpetually barred from public positions, offices and tenured professions for the duration of the sentence."

Judgment Date

January 5, 2004

Country

Chile

Judicial Body

Chile - Court of Appeals of Santiago

Articles violated

Article 141(1) [CCC], Article 141(4) [CCC]

Facts of the Case

In January 1975, Mr. Miguel Angel Sandoval Rodríguez was arrested without a mandate by agents of the intelligence services who raided his house. The military, political and administrative authorities denied any involvement in his detention, and his family did not receive any information on his whereabouts since the arrest. According to some witnesses, Mr. Sandoval Rodríguez was brought to a clandestine detention facility, tortured and kept there until at least February 1975, when he was reportedly transferred elsewhere.

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