Peru's leader won't intervene in treason case of U.S. woman

February 04, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

DAVOS, Switzerland -- The president of Peru said yesterday that he would not intervene in the case of a New York woman who has been convicted of treason for associating with a terrorist group and sentenced to life in prison.

"I do not have the right to say the sentence was just or unjust," President Alberto Fujimori said in an interview during a gathering of political, business and educational leaders. "This was the judgment of a military court." The pronouncement by Mr. Fujimori came shortly after a military appeals court turned down a request for a lesser sentence by the attorney for the American woman, Lori Helene Berenson, who was convicted last month and sentenced to the maximum term for aiding Marxist guerrillas who prosecutors said were planning to seize the Peruvian Congress and take hostages.

The only hope Mr. Fujimori held out for Ms. Berenson, 26, was that she has one appeal remaining, to the Supreme Council of Peru's Military Court of Justice.

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