Fujimori pleads not guilty in Peru rights abuse trial

Fujimori pleads not guilty in Peru rights abuse trial

[JURIST] Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of human rights abuses for allegedly ordering the 1992 murder of 25 people, including a professor and nine students at the so-called La Cantuta massacre [backgrounder] at Lima's La Cantuta University. If convicted, Fujimori could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and be fined $33 million. During Monday's trial proceedings, Fujimori declared his innocence in a heated outburst, saying: "I declare myself innocent . . . I don't accept the charges against me . . . I never ordered the death of anybody." AFP has more. AP has additional coverage.

Fujimori was transferred to Peru last month following the Supreme Court of Chile's decision [JURIST report] to allow his extradition from that country on human rights and corruption charges. He faces three other trials in Peru, which are a consolidation of six separate charges all stemming from his actions during three presidential terms in office from 1990-2000, including authorizing illegal phone taps, bribing key congressmen and government officials, and misusing government funds. Monday's trial began after a judge postponed it [JURIST report] last month.