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Peru ex-president Fujimori denies criminal wrongdoing as corruption trial opens

[JURIST] The corruption trial of former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] opened Monday with Fujimori confessing to having paid former Peruvian Intelligence Director Vladimiro Montesino [BBC profile] $15 million to resign in 2000, but denying any criminal liability. Fujimori's confession was limited [La Republica report, in Spanish] only to the facts in the case against him. He did not admit any wrongdoing or accept criminal responsibility because he repaid the $15 million to the government. Fujimori is accused of paying Montesino to resign in 2000 in the midst of the scandal that ultimately resulted in his arrest [JURIST report] in 2005. It is believed the Fujimori's decision to admit the facts is to limit the potential distraction that the trial would cause his daughter as she campaigns for president.

Fujimori was convicted [JURIST report] in April of committing human rights abuses for approving multiple killings during his 1990-2000 presidency. The conviction and subsequent sentencing, which puts Fujimori in prison for 25 years, was met with widespread approval [JURIST report] from the current government and human rights organization, despite Fujimori's planned appeal. In 2007, Fujimori was convicted [JURIST report] of ordering a warrantless search in 2000 on the apartment of Montesino's wife. Prosecutors alleged that the search was intended to uncover and confiscate documents that might incriminate Fujimori. Similar to the present charges, Fujimori admitted to the facts, but denied any wrongdoing.

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