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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Humala facing rights abuse claims
Ollanta Humala speaks during a meeting with foreign press in Lima on 7 June 2006
Mr Humala is popular among poorer Peruvians
Prosecutors in Peru have filed murder charges against opposition leader Ollanta Humala, accusing him of human rights abuses during the 1990s.

The charges date to when Mr Humala, who narrowly lost the recent presidential election, was an army base captain at jungle base in San Martin province.

He is accused of forced disappearance, torture and murder during the fight against Shining Path guerrillas.

A judge is deciding whether to proceed with a formal indictment.

The charges are based on testimony from the families of two people who are alleged to have been dragged away by soldiers under Mr Humala's command.

One was shot dead and the other's body was never found, the families say.

Mr Humala's lawyer, Carlos Escobar, said there was no proof the alleged crimes had taken place, but said his client was willing to co-operate with the authorities in their investigation.

The 44-year-old, who was kicked out of the army in 2000 after leading a failed revolt against the then President Alberto Fujimori, leads the largest opposition coalition in Peru's Congress.

A self-proclaimed nationalist who won the support of Peru's poor, he narrowly lost to Alan Garcia in the second round of the presidential election in June.


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