Pinochet Trial a Go

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Chile's ex-dictator is to get his day in court -- and that's going to sharpen Washington's dilemma over General Augusto Pinochet. Britain's Home Secretary Jack Straw on Wednesday green-lighted Spain's extradition proceedings against Pinochet, which means the general will have to appear in court next week when a British magistrate weighs the evidence against him. Some of that evidence, of course, remains classified in Washington, and the case has prompted a fierce debate in the Clinton administration over whether to cooperate with prosecutors. "There's going to be some nervousness in Washington," says TIME correspondent William Dowell. "Officially they're saying their main concern is stability in Chile, but the trial is certainly going to raise uncomfortable questions about what the U.S. knew of Pinochet's involvement in crimes against humanity, and whether we continued to support him anyway."

Whatever the outcome of the proceedings from here, the British ruling has inaugurated an age of justice without borders. And that's certainly going to affect the travel plans of a lot of retired Cold War-era strongmen.