21 Jul 2009

Ex-Peruvian president given jail term for corruption

3:14 pm on 21 July 2009

Former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori has been jailed seven-and-a-half years for corruption.

The 70-year-old was convicted by Peru's Supreme Court of giving $US15 million in state funds to his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos.

Fujimori admitted making the payment, but said he later repaid the money.

The sentence is the third handed down against Fujimori, who ruled Peru from 1990 to 2000, since he returned from exile in late 2007 to face charges.

Last April, he was sentenced to 25 years in jail for ordering killings and kidnappings by the security forces.

Fujimori was already serving a six-year term after being found guilty in 2007 on separate charges of abuse of power.

The prosecution claimed that Fujimori illegally channelled huge sums to Montesinos.

The multi-million dollar payment was allegedly made just two months before corruption accusations in late 2000 abruptly ended Fujimori's 10 years in power.

Montesinos, who is in prison convicted of several charges including corruption and embezzlement, was at the centre of the scandal which erupted after videos emerged showing him bribing opposition politicians and media magnates.

Fujimori had told the court the payment was not illegal because he had later reimbursed the state.

"I express my partial and relative conformity with the charges... I only acknowledge the facts, I don't accept the criminal responsibility, the punishment or the civil reparations," he said.