Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 17:10 UK

Spy chief defends Peru's Fujimori

Peruvian former President Alberto Fujimori, file pic from June 2008
Alberto Fujimori denies charges of corruption and humans rights abuses

Peru's ex-security chief has testified that former President Alberto Fujimori is innocent of human rights violations.

Vladimiro Montesinos, currently serving a jail term for arms smuggling, is alleged to have organised death squads in the 1990s during Mr Fujimori's rule.

However, he told the court Mr Fujimori had no responsibility for the killings. Prosecutors claim Mr Fujimori ordered two massacres in which 25 people died.

The former president, who faces up to 30 years in jail, denies the charges.

Montesinos, whose testimony has been keenly anticipated, told the court in Lima that he had chosen to testify even though he could remain silent under the law.

He said Mr Fujimori bore no responsibility for any of the offences with which he is charged.

Montesinos also denies any involvement in the death squad cases. He faces a separate trial over the killings.

Left-wing rebels

Montesinos, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence, was Mr Fujimori's intelligence chief during his 1990-2000 rule.

As such, he was privy to the government's policies and strategy in its war against left-wing rebels.

1991 Barrios Altos killings: 15 dead
1992 La Cantuta killings: 10 dead
1992 illegal detention: journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer
Separate trial on corruption and illegal wiretapping charges

Mr Fujimori's trial relates to two massacres carried out by a death squad known as La Colina, in which a total of 25 people died.

In 1991, La Colina raided a barbecue in a poor suburb of Lima known as Barrios Altos and killed 15 people.

The following year, they kidnapped nine students and a professor.

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

It is alleged the death squad was under the direct command of the Peruvian president.

Mr Fujimori is also charged with ordering the illegal detention and interrogation of a prominent journalist, Gustavo Gorriti, and businessman Samuel Dyer, in 1992.

The former president fled to Japan in 2000 after his administration was brought down by a scandal involving Montesinos.

He was detained in Chile at the Peruvian authorities' request in 2005 and extradited from Chile to Peru last year.

Witness changes story on Fujimori
28 Feb 08 |  Americas
Fujimori accused of kidnap plot
19 Jan 08 |  Americas
Fujimori 'regrets' rights abuses
22 Dec 07 |  Americas
Fujimori outburst as trial begins
10 Dec 07 |  Americas
Profile: Alberto Fujimori
12 Dec 07 |  Americas
Profile: Vladimiro Montesinos
30 Jun 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
06 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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