A Cabinet minister in the administration of ousted Chilean President Salvador Allende who died in custody six months after the September 1973 military coup may have been murdered, according to a new autopsy released Friday.
The body of Jose Toha was exhumed in late 2010 and has been subjected to three separate forensic examinations since then.
The results of the latest review, carried out by specialists from the University of Concepcion, were delivered to special investigative magistrate Jorge Zepeda.
Toha was either strangled or hanged by one or more assailants, the new report concluded.
Toha, who held the Defense and Interior portfolios in the Allende administration, died on March 15, 1974, in Room 303 of the Military Hospital in Santiago, a little more than six months after the putsch led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
He found dead in a closet, hanged with his own belt. Authorities classified the death as a suicide.
The erstwhile government minister stood 1.92 meters (6 feet, 2 inches) tall.
Toha had been taken to the hospital suffering from the effects of torture and the harsh conditions on frigid Dawson Island, where the military regime was holding some of Allende's top aides.
A judge ordered Toha's body exhumed after the emergence of a document indicating that he had been strangled.
The exhumation took place in December 2010, when Carolina Toha - the minister's daughter - was serving as spokesperson in the government of then-President Michelle Bachelet.
The initial re-examination of the body, carried out at the Santiago General Cemetery, raised the possibility that Jose Toha had been strangled.
Pathologists at the University of Chile's Clinical Hospital who examined the body in May 2011 said it was impossible to tell whether Toha's death was a suicide or a homicide.
Carolina Toha, her mother, Victoria Morales, and Jose's brother Jaime Toha filed a criminal complaint in early 2001 alleging that the former government minister was murdered. EFE