Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison Monday after he admitted to illegally paying his spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, $15 million in government funds. Fujimori told the court he paid off Montesinos to prevent a coup he feared was being plotted against him. Peru’s Supreme Court wasn’t buying it.
This is Fujimori’s third conviction in the last two years. The ex-leader was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April for authorizing military death squads which carried out massacres killing at least two dozen people in the early 1990’s. He was also convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to six years for an illegal search of Montesino’s home. Fujimori, who suffers from heart trouble and is turning 71 this month, will most likely spend the rest of his days in a jail cell.
Ironically, in the midst of all the scandal and chaos surrounding Fujimori, polls show his daughter, Keiko Fujimori, a conservative member of Congress, is a front runner for the next Peruvian presidential election in 2011. If elected, she will hopefully set a much better example than her papi did.