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Peru's Humala charged with rebellion in deadly 2005 police station takeover

Peru's Humala charged with rebellion in deadly 2005 police station takeover

Losing Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala has been charged with rebellion in his brother's 2005 takeover of a police station in which six people died, a state attorney said Wednesday.
Jacob Romero, of the Interior Ministry, told The Associated Press that Judge Patricia Overliujs accepted a prosecutor's recommendation Tuesday to consider Humala's alleged participation as an "intellectual author" of the four-day siege.
Humala and his attorney, Carlos Escobar Pineda, were not immediately available for comment.
Humala was in South Korea at the time of the incident, but is accused of helping to mastermind the takeover. He previously was listed as a witness in the case.
Humala's political spokesman, Carlos Tapia, said the charge shows the court is being manipulated by political enemies of the former candidate.
"He was in South Korea, nearly 12,000 miles (19,310 kilometers) away, and they change his status from witness to accused," Tapia told CPN radio. "I believe (the charge) has neither rhyme nor reason."
Humala, who lost the June presidential runoff to Alan Garcia, is already fighting separate human rights abuse charges stemming from his command of a jungle counterinsurgency base in 1992. He denies any wrongdoing in either case.
Overliujs ruled that Humala could remain free on bail of 5,000 soles (US$1,626; euro1,238), but must remain in the country, Romero said. He added that Humala could face 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted the rebellion charge. He is already under a court order prohibiting him from leaving Peru.
His younger brother, Antauro Humala, who is in jail charged with homicide, led 160 rebels to seize a remote Peruvian police station, demanding the resignation of former President Alejandro Toledo.
That ultra-nationalist group took 17 hostages and ambushed police reinforcements as they crossed a bridge, killing four officers, in the remote town of Andahuaylas, 443 kilometers (275 miles) southeast of Lima. Police snipers killed two of Antauro Humala's followers.
At one point, Antauro was shown on video saying that his brother, then a military attache in Peru's embassy in South Korea, had chosen the site of the uprising, and later, that Ollanta had ordered them to lay down arms.
Ollanta, then facing forced retirement from the military, made a public call to army reservists back home to start a "popular insurrection" against Toledo's government.
"The dramatic situation of the republic requires a popular insurrection. In this case, it is a duty and as such I demand it," Ollanta said in a phone call to Radioprogramas radio.
But Ollanta quickly backed down and distanced himself from Antauro's action after it turned deadly.
It was the second time the brothers had urged the military to help unseat a president: In October 2000, they staged a small, ineffective rebellion as President Alberto Fujimori's government collapsed as a result of corruption scandals.


Updated : 2021-01-21 19:07 GMT+08:00