Fujimori Convicted of Bribery, Sentanced to 7.5 Years

July 21st, 2009

Deposed Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was both convicted and sentanced to 7.5 years in prison by Peru’s Supreme Court on Monday for bribery.  From Reuters:

Peru’s Supreme Court convicted and sentenced former President Alberto Fujimori on Monday to 7 1/2 years in prison for giving a $15 million bribe to his spy chief, the third time he has been convicted since returning from exile in 2007 to face a raft of charges.

Fujimori, who suffers from heart trouble and will turn 71 this month, told the court he paid off Vladimiro Montesinos because he feared his trusted right-hand man was plotting a coup against him.

But critics say he gave Montesinos the cash to flee the country as Fujimori’s government collapsed in a corruption scandal in 2000. Montesinos was eventually captured in Venezuela.

“This was not a political sentence,” said Judge Cesar San Martin. “The decision today was based purely on the facts.”

Fujimori said he would appeal the ruling to a separate panel of Supreme Court judges.

The case against Fujimori is particularly significant given the rarity to which former Presidents are extradited home, tried, and convicted of crimes that they committed while in office.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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