Lawyer: Plot against brother of Peru’s president forced his prison transfer


By Associated Press
LIMA, Peru -- The imprisoned brother of Peru’s president was transferred from a high-security prison to a military lockup after intelligence reports indicated jailed rebels might be planning to take him hostage, his lawyer said Monday.

Cashiered army Maj. Antauro Humala is serving a 19-year sentence for manslaughter for leading an attack by 100 army reservists on a highlands police station on New Year’s 2005 in a failed attempt to trigger an uprising. Four police officers and two reservists were killed.

Humala’s weekend transfer from Piedras Gordas prison to the military base lockup in the Lima district of Chorrillos drew complaints from many Peruvians of preferential treatment.

But Humala’s lawyer, Rosario Montero, said he had physically been at risk. She said prison authorities had learned of plans by Shining Path rebels to riot and take the brother of President Ollanta Humala hostage.

Montero told RPP radio the plan was to “negotiate freedom for many Shining Path leaders.”

Justice Minister Juan Jimenez said it wasn’t just Antauro Humala but also relatives who were at risk.

“The person who visits Mr. Humala most is his mother, so we need to guarantee her security,” he told reporters.

Montero denied that the prison at the military academy in Chorrillos to which Antauro Humala was transferred was “a golden prison.”

She said it was “a small cell, where he has a bed, a desk, where he can continue writing.”

Antauro Humala’s failed revolt had sought the resignation of then-President Alejandro Toledo.

Initially sentenced to 25 years in prison, Antauro Humala had his murder sentence reduced by the Supreme Court in September from murder.

President Humala rose to the rank of army lieutenant colonel and military attache in South Korea before being retired, just prior to the Andahuaylas uprising, over his perceived disloyalty to Toledo.