LIMA, PERU, April 23, 2009 (AFP) - Former president Alberto Fujimori appealed Thursday to Peru's Supreme Court to overturn his 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity, his lawyer Cesar Nakazaki said.
The appeal argues that Fujimori's trial violated criminal law because it invoked international crimes and crimes against humanity "which did not apply at the time the crimes (Fujimori) was charged with were carried out," Nakazaki said.
The ex-president's defense team is "aiming for either overturning the sentence and the former president acquitted, or for a new trial to be convened," he told reporters after filing the appeal.
Nakazaki however said Fujimori will find it "difficult to get justice out of the Supreme Court," in view of chief justice Javier Villa Stein's recent remarks that the top court supported Fujimori's sentence.
"If the chief justice of the Supreme Court says he supports the sentence, what chance is there of this appeal getting an impartial review by the court?" Nakazaki asked.
A Supreme Court official, however, clarified that Villa Stein was referring to the court proceedings, deeming them fully in compliance with legal norms.
Nakazaki's appeal was filed within the mandated time limit after Fujimori was sentenced on April 7.
A three-judge court in Lima found that Fujimori, 70, had authorized the work of an army death squad that killed 25 civilians in two bloodbaths in 1991 and 1992, and ordered the kidnapping of a businessman and a journalist in 1992.
Fujimori, who proclaimed his innocence throughout his 15-month trial, denied ordering "dirty war" tactics as his 1990-2000 government quashed a two-decade insurgency by leftist rebels.
Fujimori returns to the dock on May 11 to face charges that he funneled 15 million dollars to his top advisor Vladimiro Montesinos, already in prison on multiple corruption charges.
Before the April 7 prison sentence, Fujimori was already serving a six-year sentence for an unrelated, separate trial in which he was found guilty of abuse of power.