Montesinos Is Moved to Prison He Helped Design

From Associated Press

Former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos was transferred Thursday to a maximum-security prison that he helped design, putting him in the company of terrorist leaders, including the founder of the Shining Path guerrillas.

Montesinos was taken from a cellblock at Lima's Justice Palace and whisked to the military installation in a convoy of vehicles.

On Wednesday, Peruvian authorities detailed Montesinos' capture after an eight-month global manhunt, saying an FBI-orchestrated deal had come close to nabbing him before Venezuelan authorities arrested him.

Montesinos will share the cellblock with Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, who is serving a life sentence along with five other guerrilla leaders.

Montesinos helped capture or interrogate several of the inmates, who include Guzman's lover, Elena Iparraguirre, and Oscar Ramirez Durand, who took up leadership of the Shining Path before his capture two years ago.

Montesinos' court-appointed lawyer, Patricia Hurtado, protested his transfer, saying the cellblock was for prisoners sentenced in military court for terrorism, whereas Montesinos is charged with "common crimes." He faces charges including influence peddling, drug trafficking, arms dealing and directing death squads.

Montesinos allegedly ran a web of corruption that largely controlled the military, the legal system and much of the media.

He fell from power after the release of a videotape showing him bribing an opposition lawmaker.

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