Antauro Humala begins trial for 2005 assault on police station

Antauro Humala and more than 170 of his ultra-nationalist followers began trial today for the January 2005 assault on a remote police station in the southern town of Andahuaylas, in Apurímac Department.

State prosecutors have requested a 35-year sentence and expulsion from the country following completion of their sentence for all of the defendants. The charges include rebellion, first degree murder, and illegal possession of arms. The trial is being held at a courtroom in the San Pedro prison, also known as the Lurigancho prison.

On Jan. 1, 2005, Antauro Humala, a former army major, stormed the police station with his ultra-nationalist followers demanding the resignation of former President Alejandro Toledo, who they accused of corruption and selling out Peru to Chilean business interests. The assault left six people dead including four police. During the ensuing standoff, Antauro was caught by news cameras saying that he was acting on the orders of his brother, opposition leader Ollanta Humala, who was Peru’s military attaché to Korea at the time.

In December 2007, the Supreme Court ruled the Ollanta Humala would stand trial with his brother as the alleged mastermind behind the attack. However his lawyer, Omar Chehade, explained his client’s absence by citing a habeas corpus that allowed Humala to not be prosecuted in this trial.

Nevertheless, Radio Programas reported that the leader of Peru’s Nationalist Party could be held in contempt if he does not appear with his brother and the ultra-nationalists.

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