SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile's top court refused to drop charges Monday against Gen. Augusto Pinochet in the disappearance of six dissidents during his military dictatorship, ruling that he must remain under house arrest.
The Supreme Court panel voted 3-2 against the defense appeal, said one of the judges, Alberto Chaigneau.
It was the latest in a string of legal setbacks for Pinochet, 90, in his long fight against human rights and corruption charges.
He has been under house arrest since last month, when he was indicted in connection with the six disappearances.
It remains unclear whether he will ever go to trial. Pinochet's lawyer Pablo Rodriguez is expected to file a new appeal asserting that the ex-dictator is too unhealthy for trial -- an argument the Supreme Court has accepted in four past cases.
In his rejected appeal, Pinochet argued that a law provided amnesty for crimes committed between 1973 and 1978. The Supreme Court did not explain its ruling Monday, but it has previously argued that the amnesty law does not cover unresolved disappearances.
The six dissidents were among 119 people either killed or declared missing in a 1975 offensive, "Operation Colombo."
Pinochet has also been charged in three other disappearances in the offensive. A ruling is expected this week on his appeal against those charges.
The military regime had claimed the victims died in clashes between opposition groups.
Pinochet, who ruled from his bloody coup in 1973 until 1990, also faces tax evasion charges related to secret overseas bank accounts, estimated by a judicial investigation to hold $28 million.