The father of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet probably died as a result of torture after the 1973 military coup, a judge said in Santiago on Wednesday.
Judge Mario Carroza said investigators had found that Air Force General Alberto Bachelet died of heart problems aggravated by torture sessions after his arrest.
General Bachelet was loyal to elected President Salvador Allende, who was deposed in the coup led by Gen Augusto Pinochet. Ms Bachelet, who was tortured herself, was Chile's first woman president in 2006-2010.
Judge Carroza was assigned to review a complaint brought by relatives of the victims of military rule alleging that General Bachelet had been tortured to death.
He said a new forensic study concluded that all the interrogations to which Gen Bachelet was submitted damaged his heart and was the likely cause of death.
Soon after the coup on 11 September 1973, the 51-year-old general was taken to a military academy, where he was questioned by members of the armed force he had previously led.
He died on 12 March 1974 while serving a sentence for treason in the capital Santiago.
His wife, Angela Jeria, and his daughter Michelle were also held and tortured before fleeing to Australia where a brother lived. However in 1975 she left for the then German Democratic Republic and in 1979 returned to Chile.
Bachelet is a paediatrician and epidemiologist with studies in military strategy, and served as Health Minister and Defence Minister under her predecessor President Ricardo Lagos. Michelle Bachelet now heads the UN women's agency.
Judge Carroza has also been in charge of an investigating into the death of former president Salvador Allende.
A team of international experts concluded that Chile's first democratically elected Socialist president killed himself during the coup.
Mr Allende's family had always accepted he had committed suicide, but some of his supporters suspected he had been killed by soldiers.