Saturday, October 10, 2009

Putting presidents in jail: Peru/Taiwan

Peruvian ex-President Fujimori sentenced for bribes, wiretaps to 6 years, fined $9 million
Andrew Whalen
September 30th, 2009

LIMA, Peru — A court imposed a six-year prison sentence Wednesday on disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who already faced the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a cell after three previous convictions. He also was fined $9 million for authorizing wiretaps and bribes.

The sentencing concluded two years of televised trials that forced a country still divided over its bloody past to relive the darkest days of Fujimori’s authoritarian, corruption-riddled administration.

Animated and unrepentant in early trials, the ailing 71-year-old former president appeared resigned in his later hearings. TV cameras often caught Fujimori sleeping at his table alone in the center of the courtroom.

Asked by the presiding judge Wednesday if he accepted his sentence in the corruption trial, Fujimori stood up and quietly told the court, “I move to nullify.”

On Monday, Fujimori pleaded guilty to the charges, a decision his lawyer says was based on the belief that he could not get a fair trial before the special Supreme Court panel.

Since his 2007 extradition to Peru from Chile, the three-judge panel has convicted Fujimori of crimes against humanity for authorizing military death squads, of abuse of power for an illegal search and of embezzlement for paying his spy chief $15 million in state funds.

Prison terms are served concurrently in Peru, so the 25-year sentence imposed in the murder and kidnapping trial is the maximum he could serve. Arrested in Chile in 2005, that would leave Fujimori in jail until 2030.

He could be freed far earlier, however, if his daughter Keiko is elected president in 2011. She has vowed to pardon her father and leads some recent campaign polls, largely because Fujimori remains popular for crushing the Maoist Shining Path rebels during his decade in power...

Former Taiwan president sentenced to life in prison in corruption case

National Post
September 12, 2009

Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian, known for fiery anti-China rhetoric while in office, was found guilty of corruption yesterday and sentenced to life in prison. Taipei District Court convicted the two-term president on six charges related to bribery and corruption, closing a fractious, high-profile case that opened nearly three years ago and involved Chen's wife and numerous family members and aides. He was also fined US$6-million. Prosecutors had charged Chen with embezzling US$3.2-million from a special presidential office fund, accepting bribes of about US$9-million related to a land procurement deal and taking another US$2.7-million in kickbacks. Chen has said the charges were political, denied wrongdoing and will appeal.

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