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Chilean kidnap accused Adriana Rivas has bail denied ahead of extradition hearing

Adriana Rivas Source: Facebook

A woman wanted in Chile over seven alleged kidnappings during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet has had her bid for bail rejected in Sydney.

Sydney woman Adriana Rivas, who is wanted in Chile over the alleged kidnapping of seven people during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, has been refused bail pending an extradition hearing.

The 66-year-old has been in custody since she was arrested February following an extradition request from Chile.

In Central Local Court on Thursday, magistrate Margaret Quinn refused her application for bail, finding there were no special circumstances in the case to warrant the granting of bail.

The decision came following a postponement on June 18 after the defence team of the former nanny reported that she was under medical care.

Adriana Rivas speaks with SBS News in 2014.
Adriana Rivas speaks with SBS in 2014.
SBS News

The previous day, Ms Rivas had to undergo a scheduled medical intervention, however, the procedure was affected by problems related to her heart, according to defence lawyer Peter Tsintilas.

Magistrate Quinn noted the charges related to events said to have occurred 45 years ago but, again, this had not been regarded as a special circumstance in previous cases.

Members of the National Campaign for Truth and Justice in Chile that attended the court.
Members of the National Campaign for Truth and Justice in Chile that attended the court. Credit: Lin Evlin
Lin Evelin

As an agent with the Chilean secret police DINA, Ms Rivas is alleged to have participated in the kidnappings and disappearances of seven people between 1974 and 1977. She also served as secretary for Juan Manuel Contreras, who led the DINA between 1974 and 1977.

An Australian resident since 1978, Ms Rivas was arrested in 2006 in Chile during a visit. She eventually fled the country in 2010.

Outside court, supporters of the families in Chile whose relatives were allegedly kidnapped received the news with joy. 

They remain hopeful that as the legal process continues, it may reveal if Ms Rivas knows what happened to their relatives.

"This is a message for her, for Ms Adriana Rivas that inside the jail she has nothing left to lose," said Cecilia Jimenez from the group National Campaign for Truth and Justice in Chile.

"Hopefully, while in prison she can understand this is not about politics, we are no longer in a dictatorship."

Sandra Valdes, another activist for the Justice in Chile group said efforts would continue for the families of victims. 

"We're here for the relatives in Chile. We're available for whatever they ask us to do, as we have done so far, we will continue to do," she said.

"If they ask us to continue coming to court, and keep on handing in documents, and continue obtaining evidence for this extradition to reach its culmination and be successful, we will."

Lawyers and the family of Ms Rivas declined to comment.

Source SBS SPANISH
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