Fujimori to plead innocent in corruption trial

LIMA- Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori will plead innocent to charges that he funneled 15 million dollars to a top advisor when his corruption trial opens July 13, his attorney said Friday.
A three-judge court in Lima sentenced Fujimori to 25 years prison in April after he was found guilty of authorizing an army death squad that killed 25 civilians in two bloodbaths in 1991 and 1992, and of ordering the kidnapping of a businessman and a journalist in 1992.

"We are going to fight for Fujimori's innocence" in the corruption trial, said Cesar Nakazaki, the ex-president's attorney.
Nakazaki, who also defended Fujimori in the rights abuse case, rejected press reports that the ex-president would plead guilty in order to shorten the trial.
Peru's La Republica newspaper claimed that Fujimori would plead guilty in order to prevent the disclosure of details of alleged corruption during his 1990-2000 presidency.
Among the charges, Fujimori is suspected of providing 15 million dollars in government funds to Vladimiro Montesinos, then head of the Peruvian intelligence service.
"Fujimori is innocent," said Nakazaki. "We are going to fight for his acquittal," he said.
The prosecution is calling for an eight-year prison term for Fujimori in this case, which also includes charges of embezzlement. Montesinos is already in prison on multiple corruption charges.
Fujimori, 70, has been held at a police base in eastern Lima since he was extradited from Chile in September 2007.
Before the April 7 prison sentence, Fujimori was already serving a six-year sentence for an unrelated, separate trial in which he was found guilty of abusing power.

Saturday, July 11th 2009

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