U.S. citizen released from Peruvian prison

Nov. 9, 2010 at 7:39 AM   |   Comments

LIMA, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A U.S. citizen jailed in Peru for 15 years for aiding leftist rebels was released after a Peruvian court granted her parole last week.

Lori Berenson left Lima's Chorrillos Penitentiary Monday, where she was serving a life sentence handed down in 1995 for collaborating with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement to overthrow the government, CNN reported Tuesday. On appeal her sentence was reduced to 20 years.

"The judge in charge of Lori's parole application has, once again, granted Lori parole on the grounds that she has fulfilled all necessary requirements," her family wrote last week on their Web site, FreeLori.org.

Berenson was released from Chorrillos Penitentiary in May but was returned to jail in August on a technicality. In 2009, she delivered a son fathered by her estranged husband, a Peruvian lawyer who represents her. The boy has been living with her in prison.

Berenson's family members told CNN they expect the state prosecutor will appeal the judge's ruling again. Prosecutor Julio Galindo has argued the judge incorrectly applied a law that permits consideration of work and study in parole cases. The prosecutor says the law doesn't apply to convicted terrorists.

In September, Peruvian President Alan Garcia told CNN Berenson "is not a threat to Peru."

"How much fear should Peru have of a woman who has already served 15 years in prison, who has a little baby boy?" Garcia said. "I see neither the reason why that should create an issue that divides us, nor create fear among the population."

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