Pinochet Gets a Stay

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Hold that plane to Spain -- Augusto Pinochet is staying put for now. Britain's House of Lords has ordered yet another hearing after overturning a lower court ruling that would have extradited the former Chilean dictator to Spain. Pinochet's lawyers had appealed the lower court's decision because the judge on the five-person panel who cast the deciding vote is affiliated with Amnesty International, one of the prime movers in the push to bring Pinochet to trial.

Now another hearing will take place to decide whether Pinochet, as a former head of state, still enjoys sovereign immunity, a British law that protects foreign dignitaries visiting England. The legal questions are complex, and how a new panel will rule is anybody's guess. "It's like replaying a football match," notes TIME London bureau chief Barry Hillenbrand. "There's no guarantee it will still turn out 3-2." Pinochet's attorneys are appealing extradition on several other fronts as well. Clearly, the only people who are guaranteed to do well in this case are Pinochet's lawyers.