Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori sentenced to 8 years for embezzlement

World Today

Peru’s jailed former President Alberto Fujimori was handed another prison term for embezzling public funds to support his presidential re-election in 2000. Fujimori is already serving a 25-year jail term for human rights violations. CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reported the story from Lima, Peru.

A three-judge panel convicted the jailed former president of siphoning off more than $40 million worth of public funds to bribe tabloid newspapers to smear his opponents during his third re-election bid. It was the fifth conviction for 76-year-old Fujimori.

Peru\'s former president Alberto Fujimori sentenced to 8 years for embezzlement

Peru's jailed former President Alberto Fujimori was handed another prison term for embezzling public funds to support his presidential re-election in 2000. Fujimori is already serving a 25-year jail term for human rights violations. CCTV America's Dan Collyns reported the story from Lima, Peru.

The judges handed down the maximum sentence of eight years and fined him $1 million. The new sentence will run concurrently with his current sentence for corruption and authorizing death-squad killings. However, it’s a victory for prosecutors who argue justice must be served regardless of Fujimori’s age.

Fujimori’s family had hoped that he would be pardoned due to his ill health, but just days before the new sentence, Peru’s highest court ratified his existing 25-year jail term.

The former president’s daughter and political heiress, Keiko Fujimori, maintained her father’s innocence.

“Not one single piece of evidence has been presented that Alberto Fujimori is responsible for these crimes, as today’s sentence has unjustly found. I and my brothers and sisters are supporting him, as always, in the good times and the bad,” Keiko Fujimori said.

His daughter narrowly lost Peru’s presidential election in 2011, but will be a likely candidate as Peruvians go to the polls next year. She and her father’s legacy still enjoy popular support.

Fujimori’s lawyer, William Castillo, said the sentence was politically motivated and that they would appeal.

“They want to impede the architect and builder of modern Peru from running for president again in 2016,” Castillo said.

Fujimori fled to Japan in 2000 amid a political corruption scandal and was later arrested in Chile and has been jailed in Peru since 2007.