[Ppnews] Peruvian prosecutor wants Berenson back in prison

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 13 16:07:04 EDT 2010

Peruvian prosecutor wants Berenson back in prison


The Associated Press
3:56 p.m. Friday, August 13, 2010

LIMA, Peru ­ A Peruvian prosecutor said Friday he 
will ask a court to revoke the parole of American 
activist Lori Berenson and send her back to 
prison to finish her 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels.

Julio Galindo, the government's lead 
anti-terrorism prosecutor, said the 40-year-old 
New Yorker still poses a threat to society and 
that there are doubts about whether she has cut 
all links to the leftist rebel group Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement.

Berenson was granted parole on May 27, and wrote 
in a letter to Peru's pardons commission that she 
wants to go home to the United States. She said 
that both she and her 1-year-old son need medical treatment.

Galindo argued that she was wrongly granted 
parole and that his team will "battle legally" in 
a court hearing Monday for her to be returned to 
prison for the remaining five years of her sentence.

"I don't think anyone can guarantee that someone 
convicted of terrorism isn't going to re-enter 
this world of terrorism," Galindo said in a news conference.

He argued the decision in May to grant parole was riddled with errors.

Berenson was initially accused of being a leader 
of the MRTA, a group that bombed banks and 
kidnapped and killed civilians, though it was 
nowhere near as violent as the better-known Shining Path insurgency.

When she was arrested in November 1995 with the 
wife of the group's leader, prosecutors said 
Berenson was helping plot a takeover of Peru's 
Congress. The alleged plot was thwarted in a 
gunbattle at a rebel hideout that Berenson was convicted of having rented.

Berenson was convicted of treason by a military 
court in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison. 
But after an intense campaign by her parents and 
pressure from the U.S. government, she was 
retried in a civilian court. In 2001, it 
convicted her of the lesser crime of terrorist 
collaboration and sentenced her to 20 years.

Berenson apologized in her letter to Peru's 
pardons commission at the time of her release, 
saying "I assume my penal responsibility for the 
crime of terrorist collaboration." In the letter, 
she asked the government panel to commute her sentence.

Under the terms of her parole, she is required to 
remain in Peru until the sentence ends in 
November 2015 ­ unless President Alan Garcia decides to commute the sentence.

Peruvians widely disapproved of Berenson's release.

If the court on Monday decides to revoke parole, 
Berenson would be required to return to prison 
together with her 1-year-old son, Salvador.

Her lawyer and husband, Anibal Apari, dismissed the prosecutor's arguments.

"From a legal point of view, there is no reason 
to revoke her parole," Apari said.

Berenson, who has kept a low profile since she 
was freed, is expected to speak during Monday's 
hearing in the national penal court to make her case for upholding her parole.


August 13, 2010 03:56 PM EDT


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