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Thursday, July 18

NY Times / Reuters Dispute Rises in Peru's Handling of Lori Berenson's Terror Trial: "The commission has not made public its recommendation, but a respected lawyer and human rights expert who said he had seen the document called it 'very drastic' in its condemnation of laws introduced by the former president of Peru, Alberto K. Fujimori, who fled the country in 2000 after accusations of corruption and repression... But the lawyer said the commission blasted the very legal definition of what constituted terrorism or terrorist collaboration as 'a violation of human rights.' The lawyer also said the commission recommended that all evidence from both trials be thrown out, meaning any retrial would have to start over." The issue is that if Peru accepts that the anti-terrorism laws are in violation of human rights, that opens the floodgates for retrying all the terrorism convictions. That means going back over cases that may date back 10 years or more. It would be almost impossible to bring together all the evidence and witnesses again. In all probability, it would mean releasing a high percentage of all people convicted of terrorism. No Peruvian government wants to go down in history as having released Abimael Guzman.

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