Santiago - A Chilean court on Wednesday asked the United States to extradite a former Chilean military official accused in the 1973 killing of a folk singer in the coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power.

The Supreme Court requested the extradition of Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez “for the responsibility attributed to him as the author of the crime of voluntary manslaughter” of Victor Jara on September 16, 1973 as part of the rightwing putsch that brought Pinochet to power.

Besides being a singer, Jara was a leftist political activist and staunch advocate of social justice.

Immediately after the 1973 coup he was among many Chileans who were taken to a football stadium and ultimately tortured and executed. Jara was shot 44 times.

The court decision to seek the extradition of Barrientos Nunez was unanimous. He lives in Florida.

The only remaining formality is for the Foreign Ministry to send the United States a written request for the extradition. The two countries have a bilateral extradition treaty.

In late December, a Chilean judge ordered the arrest of eight former military officials and charged them in Jara's death as direct participants or accomplices.

Barrientos Nunez, a former army colonel, is the only one of those eight who lives outside Chile. - Sapa-AFP