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16:25 Peru ex-president pleads guilty in trial for alleged illegal wiretaps
 
Lima, Set. 28 (ANDINA). Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has pleaded guilty to authorizing wiretaps and bribes to journalists, politicians and businessmen.

Fujimori, 71 and ailing, appeared to sleep during chief prosecutor Jose Pelaez's accusation, but stirred at the close of the session to say three words to the presiding judge: "Sir, I agree."

Pelaez requested an eight-year sentence for the illegal wiretaps, bribes and embezzlement, which would be served concurrently with a 25-year sentence imposed in his previous murder and kidnapping trial.

The guilty plea avoids an arduous trial that might be hard on his health as well as damaging his daughter's campaign by reminding voters of the darkest days of his government.

Pelaez charged Fujimori with ordering his former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos to use state funds to secretly wiretap 28 politicians, journalists and businessmen, bribe 13 congressmen to join Fujimori's party and buy off a TV station and a newspaper editorial board to support his 2000 re-election campaign.

Montesinos - who prosecutors planned to call as the principle witness - has testified in his own trials that he made the payoffs on behalf of Fujimori. Fujimori argued in one of his earlier trials that he knew nothing of the money - that Montesinos was using the bribes to win support for a planned coup against him.

The three-judge panel will sentence Fujimori on Wednesday. In addition to a prison sentence, prosecutors want him to pay $1.7 million to the state and $1 million to be shared between the 28 people whose phone lines were illegally tapped.

(END) INT/LVT

 


 

Date: 28/09/2009
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