Peru’s Fujimori pleads guilty to wiretaps, bribes

LIMA (Reuters) – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of wiretapping opponents and paying bribes to lawmakers and publishers during his rule from 1990 to 2000.

Fujimori, 71, will be sentenced to up to eight years in prison tomorrow.

By pleading guilty, he cut short a trial in which 60 prominent Peruvians were going to be called to testify against him — publicity that could embarrass him and his daughter, Keiko Fujimori, a popular conservative lawmaker who is a frontrunner in the 2011 presidential race.

Critics say Fujimori set up a vast spy network to battle the leftist Shining Path insurgency and began abusing it for political advantage.

In the court case, prosecutors said he wiretapped or bribed people who were influential in Congress and the media to shore up his party’s support base or win favorable editorial coverage for his government.

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