Ghost legacy

He left everything he had to his family, with 62.5 percent going to his widow Lucia Hiriart, 25 percent going to his five children, Lucia, Augusto, Veronica, Marco Antonio and Jacqueline and the remaining 12.5 percent to their children and grandchildren.  But what that legacy consists of is still a mystery. General Augusto Pinochet’s will was opened in a Santiago court on Wednesday, and officials hoping to learn more about the suspiciously large fortune he accumulated found no information about his property, goods or bank accounts.

“The will makes reference to a distribution of goods without specifying anything registered under the name of Augusto Pinochet,” notary Humberto Quezada told reporters.

Five years ago Pinochet’s widow, children and several associates were indicted on charges of misappropriating at least $20 million from government funds and all but Lucia Hiriart (who was rushed to a military hospital) spent two days in prison. The charges were later dropped when the prosecuting judge retired from the case. But it isn’t over yet. While the Pinochet family did not want the will opened at all, the Chilean Defense Council of State hopes to recover any illegally obtained funds from the estate. Last April a court opened what was supposed to be Pinochet’s last will, signed shortly before his death in 2006, but that document contained only a statement changing his executor.  This earlier version of the will, signed after Pinochet was released from detention in London, was drawn up in 2000.

So what now?  Authorities say they will continue to investigate.

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