Peru courts sentence Fujimori to six years of jail

A Peruvian court sentenced former president Alberto Fujimori to six years in prison for abuse of power and ordered him to pay a fine of 400,000 new soles (around 132,000 U.S. dollars) to the state.

Peru courts sentence Fujimori to six years of jail
In this first ever sentence handed down to Fujimori, the court also barred him from standing for any kind of political office for two years.

Pedro Urbina, a spokesman for the Supreme Court of Justice, said the sentence was for Fujimori's role in ordering a warrantless search of the house belonging to the wife of his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos in November 2000.

Fujimori said the sentence was very harsh since he pleaded guilty in this case and he would make a partial appeal to contest the jail sentence and the fine.

Urbina began reading the sentence at 3:00 p.m. local time (2000 GMT), a process that lasted 165 minutes, in the special court set up at the National Special Operations Directorate headquarters in a small town some seven km from Peru's capital Lima.

Fujimori has been held at the directorate building since his September extradition from neighboring Chile. He had flown there in 2005 from Japan, in the hope that he would be extradited to Peru only on minor charges.

Fujimori was also accused of murder, human rights violations and corruption. He may face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the crimes.

Fujimori went on a separate trial Monday for charges of murder and kidnapping, during which he made a long speech defending his record as president, nearly bursting into tears at one point.

"I received a country ... almost in collapse, exhausted by hyperinflation, international financial isolation and widespread terrorism," he said.

Peru's prosecutor and the Public Ministry alleged that Fujimori ordered a massacre in the Lima suburb of Barrios Altos in 1991 andthe 1992 kidnap of a group of students and teachers at Lima's La Cantuta University, none of whom were ever seen again.

He was also formally charged by the prosecutor with the two kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer.

Fujimori argued that his government had given human rights to 25 million Peruvians with no exceptions.

"I am completely innocent. I do not accept the accusation of the court," he said.

The trial was suspended hours later when the shouting defendant suffered blood-pressure problems. The trial was set to continue Wednesday, court officials said.

Fujimori fled to Japan in 2000 to escape a corruption scandal involving alleged bribes to legislators, and lived there for five years.

The former leader was arrested by Chilean authorities in November 2005 after fleeing to Chile, where he may have been preparing for a possible new presidential run in Peru.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Aralık 2007, 15:09
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