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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fujimori found guilty

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 18:34:21 GMT

Fujimori has maintained innocence.

A Peru court declares guilty ex-President Alberto Fujimori on human rights charges including murder and kidnapping during his tenure in 1990s.

Following 15-month of trial Fujimori, 70, was found guilty of murder, bodily harm and two cases of kidnapping.

"The charges have been proved beyond all reasonable doubt," chief judge Cesar San Martin said. "Thus the verdict is a conviction," he said, according to AFP.

Rejecting the charges Fujimori said he had never created a paramilitary death squad rather he had been a wartime president fighting to protect his people. "The Peru that I inherited was a disaster. It was a Peru that had to be rescued," he said in his closing statements.

But the Judge noted that it was clear Fujimori authorized the creation of the death squad that killed dozens of people.

"This court declares that the four charges against him have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt," San Martin said.

Rights groups welcomed the outcome.

"Fujimori is finally being held to account for some of his crimes," Maria McFarland, a researcher for the US-based Human Rights Watch who was present in the courtroom, said in a statement.

The Peruvian court has shown the world that even former heads of state cannot expect to get away with serious crimes," she said.

He is the first democratically elected former president to be tried for rights violations in his own country.

The judges are expected later in the day to announce Fujimori's sentence, which could reach up to 30 years in prison.

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