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Peru ex-president Fujimori pleads guilty to illegal wiretapping and bribery

[JURIST] Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of illegal wiretapping and bribery. Fujimori was charged with ordering former Peruvian intelligence director Vladimiro Montesino [BBC profile] to use government funds to secretly wiretap politicians, journalists, and other prominent Peruvians and to bribe [Andina report] congressmen and journalists to join his party and to support his 2000 re-election campaign. His guilty plea avoids a potentially long trial in which many prominent Peruvians would have been set to testify against him. The prosecutor recommended an eight-year sentence to be served concurrent to the 25-year sentence he received for committing human rights abuses. In addition to the sentence, prosecutors have requested that he pay $1.7 million to the state and $1 million to be shared between the people whose phone lines were illegally tapped.

In July, Fujimori was convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] to seven-and-a-half years in prison for paying former Peruvian intelligence director Montesino $15 million to resign in 2000 in the midst of the scandal that ultimately resulted in Fujimori's arrest [JURIST report] in 2005. 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.

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