Chilean court absolves 6 in terror bomb plot
SANTIAGO, Chile – Judges absolved all the suspects Friday in a terrorism case involving anarchist bombings outside bank buildings in downtown Santiago, a ruling that was seen as an embarrassing setback for the Chilean government.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter promoted the case and personally testified during the six-month trial.
The six defendants still on trial had faced up to 15 years if convicted. But a three-judge panel freed them. The court dismissed some evidence such as private emails that the judges said were obtained illicitly.
In all, 14 people were initially prosecuted in the case under Chile's anti-terrorism law. Eight were absolved in October after spending eight months in a high-security prison.
An appeals court dismissed the terrorism counts, and the trial judges dismissed the remaining charges.
Prosecutor Raul Guzman said he would wait until the formal written ruling appears in August before commenting.
Defense lawyer Mauricio Daza said he planned to sue the interior minister and another prosecutor charging them with official negligence.