IMAGE: Lucia Pinochet
Reuters
Lucia Pinochet, daughter of former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet, is seen in a 2001 photo.
msnbc.com news services
updated 1/25/2006 9:45:20 AM ET 2006-01-25T14:45:20

The older daughter of former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was detained Wednesday upon arrival in Washington after failing to obey a summons by a Chilean judge, who indicted her on tax evasion charges, the government said.

Lucia Pinochet “was the target of an international arrest warrant issued by a Chilean judge” and was detained at a Washington airport, presidential spokesman Osvaldo Puccio said.

The daughter apparently traveled to neighboring Argentina on Sunday, hours before she and other relatives were due to appear in court to be served notice of her indictment on charges of tax evasion and using a false passport.

She then reportedly flew to Washington.

Judge Carlos Cerda indicted Pinochet’s wife, also named Lucia, and their grown children Veronica, Jacqueline and Marco Antonio in the case.

Charges also were filed against Marco Antonio’s wife and a lawyer and a secretary for Pinochet. All were freed on bail Tuesday.

Family members are charged with falsifying documents related to a fraud and tax evasion investigation involving millions of dollars in over 100 secret foreign bank accounts.

Pinochet’s eldest daughter failed to answer a court subpoena to answer questions about nearly $1 million in undeclared taxes.

Pinochet, 90, ruled Chile for 17 years after he took power in a 1973 military coup that toppled Salvador Allende. He has been accused of responsibility in the deaths of as many as 3,000 Chileans during his regime between 1973 and 1990, and in tens of thousands of torture cases.

Pinochet was charged last year with evading taxes on an estimated $27 million hidden in foreign accounts.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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