Ex-spy chief says Fujimori innocent
Former intelligece head says ex-Peruvian president bore "no responsibility" for killings.
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2008 19:54 GMT
Montesinos is himself already serving a long
prison sentence [Reuters]

Peru's former senior intelligence chief has testified that Alberto Fujimori,
the former president, is innocent of the human rights abuse charges for which he is on trial.

Vladimiro Montesinos, ex-head of Peru's national intelligence service, said Fujimori was "in no way responsible" for organising two massacres while president.

Fujimori, president of Peru from 1990 until 2000, faces up to 30 years in prison on charges he ordered two mass killings which left 25 people dead.

He is alleged to have led an army hit squad known as the Colina Group, which has been blamed for the massacres carried out during the government's 20-year civil conflict with Maoist rebels.

The former leader has also denied waging a "dirty war' against Peru's left-wing
rebel insurgency.

Brutal civil war

Montesinos, 63, has also denied the charges and says the army instead are guilty of the massacres, while in other cases pending against him he has claimed he was acting on Fujimori's orders.

He is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for trafficking arms and for corruption.

Lucia Newman, Al Jazeera's Latin American editor, said it was not surprising that
Montesinos - due to face trial himself over the killings - did not implicate his former boss, as it would have been tantamount to implicating himself.

Fujimori fled to exile in Japan after his removal in 2000 following a corruption scandal which involved Montesinos.

He was held in Chile during a visit to the country in 2005 and extradited to Peru in September 2007 on charges of involvement in ordering killings and kidnappings during his time as leader.

Peru's civil war between the government and various Maoist rebel groups, most notably the Shining Path, is estimated to have left at least 70,000 dead.

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