A U.S. Senate investigation may have accomplished what several civilian governments in Chile couldn't -- uncover evidence of wrongdoing by former dictator Augusto Pinochet that could lead to his punishment. A Senate report recently found that Pinochet, who ruled Chile with an iron fist for 17 years, hid as much as $8 million in secret accounts and offshore companies set up by Washington-based Riggs Bank (RIGS ) from 1994 to 2002. Now, Pinochet, 88, faces investigation by the Chilean Congress and tax authorities. News of the accounts shocked Chileans because the retired Army general had always maintained a noncorrupt image -- despite the tortures, murders, and disappearances of political opponents during his rule. In May, a Santiago court stripped Pinochet's presidential immunity. That clears the way for a possible trial on human-rights or tax-evasion charges -- if Chile's Supreme Court rules he's mentally and physically fit enough.

Edited by Rose Brady

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