Former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet (search) suffered a mild stroke Tuesday, fainting at his home before he regained consciousness at a military hospital.

Pinochet's condition was stable and he will "remain hospitalized for observation," the Santiago Military hospital said in a communique.

Pinochet, 89, has suffered similar episodes in recent years, including several strokes.

The retired general's relatives rushed to the hospital after he was brought there from his suburban Santiago mansion.

His son Marco Antonio said Pinochet remained unconscious for about 30 minutes.

Pinochet also suffers from a mild case of dementia, diabetes, arthritis and has a pacemaker, according to his doctors, and courts have cited his health twice to block his trial on charges related to human rights abuses during his 1973-90 dictatorship.

His opponents claim he and his associates have exaggerated his health problems to escape trial and that he is often hospitalized when a court is about to rule on some of the multiple criminal suites he faces stemming from the human rights abuses.

A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on whether Pinochet will be stripped of the immunity from prosecution he enjoys as former president to allow his trial in a rights case.