Former Peruvian spy chief faces abuse charges

Former Peruvian spy chief faces abuse charges

[JURIST] Vladimiro Montesinos [Wikipedia profile], a close aide of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [JURIST news archive] and Peru's former intelligence chief, went on trial Wednesday on charges that he ordered the massacres of Maoist rebel supporters by paramilitary death squads in the 1990s. Montesinos' past is full of questionable activities, including allegations of election fraud [BBC News backgrounder] and even forging a Peruvian birth certificate to help Fujimori gain power. Hidden-camera footage of Montesinos bribing an opposition party member to support Fujimori ultimately led to Fujimori's resignation in 2000. Montesinos has been in jail since 2001, when he was sentenced to 15 years for embezzlement, conspiracy, and corruption. He faces almost 100 other charges in his newest trial, but the human rights charges are the first against him. BBC News has more.