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Fujimori emboldened by Peru court's soft sentencing

LIMA -- Peru's Supreme Court has cut the prison terms being served by members of an infamous government death squad, a ruling that critics said on Monday could be used to push for the release of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.

A panel of Supreme Court judges lead by Justice Javier Villa Stein said a series of massacres carried out by the Colina death squad during Fujimori's war against leftist rebels in the 1990s amounted to “human rights violations” but not the more egregious “crimes against humanity” for which they were convicted.

The sentence for Fujimori's imprisoned spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, 67, who ran the group, was reduced from 25 years to 20 years. Other members of the Colina group received similar reductions to their prison terms.

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