Chile's Supreme Court Orders Electronic Trial for 19 Accused 'Los Gallegos' Gang Members

The Supreme Court in Chile orders 19 accused members of the 'Los Gallegos' gang to attend their trial electronically, prioritizing safety amid organized crime challenges.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Chile's Supreme Court Orders Electronic Trial for 19 Accused 'Los Gallegos' Gang Members

Chile's Supreme Court Orders Electronic Trial for 19 Accused 'Los Gallegos' Gang Members

The Supreme Court in Chile has ordered 19 of the 38 accused members of the 'Los Gallegos' gang, linked to Venezuela's Aragua Train criminal organization, to attend their trial electronically in Arica. This decision overturns a previous ruling by the Appeals Court, which had favored the defendants attending the proceedings in person.

The Prosecutor's Office and the State Defense Council had requested the electronic trial format for safety reasons. The accused face charges including aggravated homicide, kidnapping, weapons possession, and drug trafficking.

With the Supreme Court's ruling, the transfer of the defendants will not take place at the start of the oral trial, scheduled for April 22, 2024. Instead, the hearing will be conducted electronically for all 19 gang members.

Why this matters: The Supreme Court's decision to hold the trial electronically for these high-profile gang members highlights the ongoing security concerns and challenges faced by the Chilean justice system in dealing with organized crime. The ruling sets a precedent for handling trials involving dangerous criminal groups while prioritizing the safety of all involved parties.

The regional prosecutor has expressed concerns about ensuring the defendants' presence, given the logistical challenges posed by the distance. In response, Interior Minister has stated that the government will reinforce security measures wherever the trial is ultimately held.

"The Supreme Court's decision means the transfer of the accused will not be verified at the start of the oral trial, scheduled for April 22, and the hearing will be held electronically for all the defendants," the ruling confirmed. The court's order seeks to address the safety concerns raised by prosecutors while ensuring the trial proceeds as planned.

Key Takeaways

  • Chile's Supreme Court orders 19 accused 'Los Gallegos' gang members to attend trial electronically.
  • The electronic trial format was requested by prosecutors for safety reasons amid organized crime concerns.
  • The ruling overturns a previous decision by the Appeals Court to have the defendants attend in person.
  • The trial is scheduled for April 22, 2024, and the government will reinforce security measures.
  • The decision sets a precedent for handling trials involving dangerous criminal groups in Chile.