Peru’s Fujimori angrily declares his innocence in human rights abuse trial opener

Jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori flailed his arms and his voice cracked with indignation Monday as he declared his innocence during the first day of trial on charges he sanctioned a paramilitary death squad to gun down suspected guerrilla sympathizers. Presiding Tribunal Judge Cesar San Martin called Fujimori to order and instructed him to simply plead guilty or not guilty.

Fujimori, 69, is charged with authorizing the Colina group death squad to kill nine students and a professor in 1992 at La Cantuta University, and 15 people, including an eight-year-old boy, in a tenement in Lima’s Barrios Altos district in 1991.

If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine totaling some $33 million.”I reject the charges totally. I am innocent,” Fujimori shouted.During a court recess, Fujimori suffered a bout of high blood pressure and the proceedings were suspended until Wednesday morning.

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