Fujimori convicted for role in massacres

April 7, 2009 at 5:52 PM
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LIMA, April 7 (UPI) -- The Peruvian Supreme Court Tuesday found former President Alberto Fujimori guilty for his role in the massacre of 25 people in 1991 and 1992.

The three-judge panel sentenced the former president to 25 years in prison, The Washington Post reported.

Fujimori, who served from 1990 to 2000, was found guilty in connection with two separate massacres carried out by military intelligence officers as part of counterinsurgency operations against Maoist Shining Path rebels, Human Rights Watch said in a release.

Fujimori was also convicted of the kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer in 1992.

Human Rights watch said the slayings were carried out by the Colina unit, a specialized squad of intelligence officers, which its says was not a rogue operation but a formal structure within the Peruvian Army whose members received orders from the highest levels of the military, which were completely under Fujimori's control.

"After years of evading justice, Fujimori is finally being held to account for some of his crimes," said Maria McFarland of Human Rights Watch.

Fujimori argued he never ordered the slayings, but the judges found he authorized the creation of the Colina unit, the Post said.

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