LIMA, Peru - Former President Alberto Fujimori was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison yesterday on a charge of abuse of authority stemming from an illegal search he ordered as his government imploded in scandal seven years ago.
Supreme Court Judge Pedro Guillermo Urbina said Fujimori was guilty of abusing his power for ordering an aide to pose as a prosecutor and search the apartment of his spy chief's wife without a warrant in November 2000. He also fined Fujimori the equivalent of $134,900.
Fujimori, 69, ruled Peru from 1990 to 2000, before fleeing to Japan, his ancestral homeland, as his government collapsed. He faces three other trials on more serious charges, including murder, kidnapping and corruption.
On Monday, Fujimori shouted his innocence as he stood trial on charges he authorized an army death squad to kill rebels and collaborators.
He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted for his alleged role in the killings, which came amid a government crackdown on a bloody Maoist insurgency.
The trial on the charge of abuse of authority was conducted in closed hearings before a single judge because it involved a minor charge. The trials are taking take place at the police base on the eastern outskirts of Lima where Fujimori is being held.
The search of the apartment of Vladimiro Montesinos' wife, Trinidad Becerra, was done without a court order.
Fujimori admitted ordering an aide, an army officer, to pass himself off as a prosecutor during the search.
Fujimori said his action was part of a nationwide manhunt for Montesinos after Switzerland accused him of money-laundering.
Prosecutors suspected Fujimori was seeking evidence that might implicate him in Montesinos' illegal activities.
Fujimori was extradited to Peru from Chile in September. He had flown to Chile in 2005 in the hope he would be extradited on minor charges, but the charges approved by Chile's Supreme Court included human-rights violations.