General Pinochet, 88, is under investigation for alleged corruption during his 1973-1990 regime.

Judge Garzon is a Spanish justice whose arrest warrant kept General Pinochet under house arrest in London for more than a year, 1998-2000.

Judge Garzon asked that General Pinochet’s assets be frozen, and Monica Maldonado, prosecutor at Chile’s Supreme Court, recommended that Chilean prosecutor Sergio Munoz comply.

“This prosecutor recommends that your honour comply with this request,” Ms Maldonado wrote to Mr Munoz.

Mr Munoz, who is in charge of investigating the origin of accounts under Pinochet’s name in a US bank, has the final word on the seizure.

General Pinochet has been under investigation since the US Senate found that Riggs Bank, of Washington, funnelled funds to Pinochet during his 503-day house arrest in London.

The Riggs accounts held between four million and 15 million US dollars, but the former dictator’s family has been unable to establish their provenance, leading to the corruption investigation.

Chile’s State Defence Council has opened its own investigation to discover whether the General defrauded the government of the funds.

The country’s tax service has also opened an investigation against General Pinochet for filing “intentionally incomplete” declarations of income.

Judge Garzon is investigating Pinochet on charges including terrorism, genocide, money laundering and larceny.

Although more than 3,000 persons were assumed to have been murdered under General Pinochet, by official count, he has never stood trial for any of the crimes.

General Pinochet, as a former, de facto head of state, enjoyed immunity from prosecution until the courts revoked it earlier this year.

He has also dodged prosecution by claiming a “mild dementia” prevented him from mounting a legal defence.