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Chile's Pinochet hospitalized

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNN) -- Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was admitted Sunday to the Military Hospital in Santiago to undergo a series of tests.

His spokesman, Guillermo Garin, said doctors found Pinochet had blood pressure problems and was expected to spend the night at the hospital.

Pinochet, 85, suffers from a variety of maladies, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

On Tuesday, Judge Juan Guzman will decide whether Pinochet can stand trial on charges related to killings and disappearances that accompanied his tight-fisted reign between 1973 and 1990.

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Last December, Guzman ordered Pinochet be placed under house arrest for allegedly planning the disappearances of the dozens of leftists who were victims of the "Death Caravan" -- a military squad that emerged shortly after Pinochet seized power in 1973 from Salvador Allende.

But Pinochet was released a few days later, when Chile's Supreme Court ruled he should have been interrogated before his arrest.

Charged with covering up crimes

Several thousand people died or disappeared and are presumed dead as a result of political violence during Pinochet's regime.

But the former Chilean leader did not formally face charges on related allegations until several years after he left power.

Pinochet was placed under house arrest while visiting Britain in 1998 at the request of a Spanish judge who wanted to try him for torture. But, after more than a year, the British legal authorities ruled he was too sick to stand trial and allowed him to return to Chile.

In March, Chile's Court of Appeals ordered homicide and kidnapping charges against Pinochet be dropped. The same court did rule, however, that Pinochet can be tried on charges he tried to cover up the killings and kidnappings.

• Presidency of Chile (in Spanish)
• Pinochet Foundation
• Chile

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