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News In Brief

May 7, 1984

Santiago, Chile

Fraud probe asked against Chile's President Pinochet

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President Augusto Pinochet is facing a legal challenge that some officials say may weaken crucial Army support for the government. A complaint signed by 24 lawyers, all prominent opponents of the military government, asked the Supreme Court Friday to order a probe of possible criminal fraud and conflict of interest. The lawyers allege that Mr. Pinochet was able, through a series of deals, to buy five acres of land bordering his private weekend retreat for well below its original value.

In response, his military government issued a statement saying Pinochet had given the land back to the state. It said slander charges would be brought ''against those responsible for a new attempt to discredit the President.''