Peru's attorney general has charged former President Alberto Fujimori with murder in connection with a 1991 massacre of 15 people that was one of the country's worst human rights abuses, local media said on Wednesday.
Radio and television reported that Attorney General Nelly Calderon wanted Fujimori to face murder charges over the killings in the Barrios Altos district of Lima. These would be the most serious charges brought against the disgraced former president.
Members of the prosecutor's office were not immediately available for comment.
Fujimori -- who is in self-exile in Japan, where he is protected from extradition by dual Peruvian and Japanese citizenship -- currently faces charges of dereliction of duty, which he denies. Lawyers and congressmen have said that in the case of alleged crimes against humanity, a Japanese judge could proceed against him.
The Barrios Altos killings were blamed on the shadowy paramilitary Grupo Colina death squad. The victims were partygoers allegedly mistaken for Shining Path rebels.
The state attorney investigating an alleged web of corruption woven by Fujimori's former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, said last week that Fujimori could be charged with responsibility for the killings. Jose Hugaz said Fujimori could not have failed to know about Grupo Colina and, as constitutional head of the armed forces, should have reined in excesses.
Fujimori has denied any involvement in the crimes that Montesinos has been accused of. The former spy chief, who Peru believes is in Venezuela, allegedly set up Grupo Colina to combat rising attacks by leftist Shining Path rebels in the 1990s -- LIMA, Peru (Reuters)
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