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Fujimori sentenced to six years for abuse of authority

Tuesday, December 11th 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday on a charge of abuse of authority stemming from an illegal search he ordered as his government imploded in scandal seven years ago.

Supreme Court Judge Pedro Guillermo Urbina declared that Fujimori was guilty of abusing his power when he ordered an aide to pose as a prosecutor and search the luxury apartment of the wife of his spy chief without a warrant in November 2000. Fujimori, who ruled Peru from 1990 to 2000 before fleeing to Japan as his government collapsed, also faces a total of seven human rights and corruption charges in multiple trials. On Monday, an indignant Fujimori shouted his innocence and waved his arms in outrage as he went on trial in a separate case on charges he authorized an army death squad to kill leftist rebels and collaborators. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted for his alleged role in the killings, which came amid a government crackdown on a bloody Maoist insurgency. The conviction made Fujimori the first Peruvian former president to be sentenced for a crime committed while he was in office. Fujimori remained impassive and silent as the sentence was read out. He was also fined 135.000 US dollars. Fujimori has admitted to ordering the search of an apartment belonging to the wife of his corrupt spymaster Vladimiro Montesinos in November 2000 but claims the search was necessary as part of a nationwide hunt for the then fugitive official who was wanted on allegations of money-laundering and involvement in bribing opposition figures. The bribery "video filmed" scandal badly tainted Fujimori's own image and led to the collapse of his administration. On Wednesday, Fujimori is scheduled to be back in court to face the human rights and corruption charges trial, in which he is accused of ordering a death squad to kill 25 suspected rebel sympathisers in the early nineties, the kidnapping of an opposition journalist and a businessman plus several counts of corruption. If convicted of violating human rights, he could go to prison for up to 30 years and be made to pay 33 million dollars in compensation to victims' families. However supporters of the former leader have been openly hailing him as a hero who vanquished the "terrorists" of the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Marxist inspired terrorist groups.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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