Peru court denies ex-president Fujimori house arrest

LIMA - Former Peru president Alberto Fujimori's request to serve the remainder of his 25-year prison sentence under house arrest has been rejected, judicial authorities said Friday.

The decision, handed down by a panel of three judges under the Supreme Court, called the request by the ex-leader - who is serving time for crimes against humanity - "unfounded and inappropriate." It noted that house arrest is available for defendants, not those who have been convicted.

Fujimori was convicted in 2009 in the killings of 25 people by a government-backed death squad in the course of Peru's war against the Maoist Shining Path rebel group.

Fujimori urged judges to approve his transfer to house arrest at a November 7 hearing, emphasizing that he would not live to serve the entire sentence, and that it qualified as a "slow death penalty." "If I continue here, I will breath my last breath before finishing the whole sentence because I do not think I will live to 95," Fujimori told the judges.

Fujimori, 76, suffers from a raft of medical problems, including high blood pressure that sent him to the hospital early this year, and two small strokes in March.

Lawyers for the former president, who served from 1990 to 2000, said they would take the ruling, released Friday in a 17-page decision, to international court.