Pinochet Trial, Take 2

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Run that one by us again... Britain's highest court on Monday began an unprecedented second pass at the Pinochet indemnity case -- in order that justice is seen to be done. It's not that the House of Lords questioned November's ruling against the former Chilean dictator's immunity claim; they ordered the retrial because one of the judges was revealed to have links with Amnesty International.

A new panel of judges will hear arguments about whether a former head of state can be held liable for crimes against humanity. Last time around, Pinochet's lawyers argued that British law would have absolved even Adolf Hitler from prosecution. Although small pro- and anti-Pinochet groups traded insults outside the court, passions over the case may be ebbing. Isabel Allende, niece of Pinochet's most famous victim, observed Sunday in the New York Times Magazine that his pursuers have already won a moral victory: Pinochet may yet elude a trial, but in the court of public opinion he has been shamed.