[JURIST] The Criminal Chamber of Peru's Supreme Court on Monday convicted former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on corruption charges and sentenced him to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Fujimori was accused of paying former Peruvian Intelligence Director Vladimiro Montesino [BBC profile] $15 million to resign in 2000 in the midst of the scandal that ultimately resulted in Fujimori's arrest [JURIST report] in 2005. Fujimori claimed that he made the payment because he feared Montesino was plotting a coup against the government. When his trial opened last week, Fujimori admitted to making the payment but denied any criminal responsibility [JURIST report]. Fujimori was also ordered to pay [El Comercio report, in Spanish] nearly USD $1 million in damages.
Lawyers for Fujimori plan to appeal the ruling.
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 put 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.