8 Apr 2009

Ex-president Fujimori found guilty of murder, kidnap

10:45 am on 8 April 2009

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori has been found guilty by a special court in the capital Lima on charges of murder and kidnapping during his reign in the 1990s.

The finding sealed a high-profile, 16-month trial of Fujimori, who had persistently declared his innocence and claimed he was the victim of political vengeance.

The court sentenced Fujimori to 25 years in prison. He says he will appeal.

He was held responsible for the massacre of 25 people by an army death squad during the war against Maoist guerrillas.

The court found that he gave political cover and leadership to the army death squad active during the darkest days of Peru's ultimately successful fight against the guerrillas.

Presiding judge Cesar San Martin said the verdict was unanimous.

Human rights group Amnesty International described the verdict as a milestone in the fight for justice.

Up to 69,000 people died in the brutal war against Maoist rebels in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s.