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Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Montesinos moved to top security jail
Montesinos being moved
Montesinos faces weeks of questioning
Former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos has been moved to Peru's highest security prison, a jail he helped design to hold the country's most feared criminals.

Mr Montesinos, who was flown back to Peru on Monday after eight months on the run, was moved before dawn on Thursday.

Under extremely heavy security, a convoy of vehicles sped from the Justice Ministry to the Callao naval base prison.

Mr Montesinos, seen as the power behind the throne of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, will be one of only seven inmates.

The others include Abimael Guzman, the leader of the Maoist Shining Path, who Mr Montesinos helped capture and put inside, and Victor Polay, head of the smaller Marxist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).

Hunger strike

Mr Montesinos had threatened to go on hunger strike if he was moved to the prison.
Abimael Guzman
Guzman is in the same prison

He is apparently afraid to be put under the guard of military leaders who want their involvement in Mr Fujimori's corrupt regime kept quiet.

Mr Montesinos has said he has 30,000 videos of meetings with businessmen, military leaders and politicians.

Analysts say the videos could implicate many of the country's business and political elite in the corruption web Mr Montesinos orchestrated to keep Mr Fujimori in power.

A video released last September, showing Mr Montesinos apparently buying an opposition Congressman's support, triggered his own and Mr Fujimori's downfall.

Since then hundreds more videos have been recovered, showing Mr Montesinos or subordinates paying off election officials, military chiefs and businessmen.

Mr Montesinos' wife said she feared for his life if he was sent to Callao.

Mr Montesinos will be held at the naval prison while charges are prepared against him.

These are expected to include drug trafficking, arms dealing and human rights violations.

It could be months, however, before the case reaches court.

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See also:

26 Jun 01 | Americas
How Montesinos was betrayed
27 Jun 01 | Americas
Montesinos 'knows of 30,000 videos'
26 Oct 00 | Americas
Hunt for Peru spy chief
27 Jan 01 | Americas
Peru shocked by 'Vladi video' theft
14 Dec 00 | Americas
Missing spy chief 'has fled Peru'
25 Jun 01 | Americas
Montesinos timeline
25 Jun 01 | Media reports
Peruvian press hail 'stupendous' arrest
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