Page last updated at 03:32 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 04:32 UK

Peru convicts death squad members

Relatives of 1992 massacre victims show photos of them (image from August 2007)
Enrique Ortiz and Armando Amaro (on cards) were two of the victims

A Peruvian court has convicted four members of an army death squad of murdering nine students and a professor suspected of rebel links in 1992.

One of the four, former Gen Julio Salazar Monroe, was sentenced to 35 years in prison while the other three were each jailed for 15 years.

A prosecutor said the verdicts would establish a precedent for trying former President Alberto Fujimori.

He denies authorising the death squad to fight Maoists in the early 1990s.

The four men convicted of the 1992 killings were part of a squad known as La Colina, whose members are also accused of a 1991 massacre of 15 people in a poor suburb of Lima known as Barrios Altos.

Mr Fujimori is on trial in relation to both attacks. It is alleged that La Colina was under his direct command.

Summarily executed

The four men convicted on Tuesday kidnapped the students and professor from the grounds of La Cantuta University.

They were taken away and summarily executed. Their remains were later found in an unmarked grave.

Jose Pelaez, the prosecutor in Mr Fujimori's trial, said the ex-president should also be convicted of a role in the massacre.

"If the men who carried out the acts are found guilty, undoubtedly, the man at the top of the command chain, the man behind it all, Fujimori, also will be condemned for the same acts," he said before the verdicts were issued.

In December, Mr Fujimori was sentenced to six years in jail and fined $92,000 (45,000) after being convicted on separate charges of abuse of power.

Fujimori accused of kidnap plot
19 Jan 08 |  Americas
Profile: Alberto Fujimori
12 Dec 07 |  Americas
Timeline: Peru
22 Sep 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Peru
12 May 07 |  Country profiles

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