'Shining Path' Leader Goes On Trial For 1992 Car Bombing In Peru

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ABIMAEL GUZMAN
Abimael Guzman, founder of the Shining Path guerrilla group, is presented to reporters in Lima, Peru, in this Sept. 24, 1992 photo, following his capture. Legal reforms in Peru could lead to new trials for more than 900 jailed rebels, including Guzman. Fighting between guerrillas and security forces killed 30,000 people in the 1980s and early 1990s. (AP Photo/El Comercio- PERU OUT) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The founder of Peru's Shining Path rebels went on trial Monday for a 1992 car bombing considered one of the worst attacks of the conflict he unleashed.

Abimael Guzman, whose appearance in court was his first time in the public eye in seven years, is already serving life without parole for a 2006 terrorism conviction for multiple crimes.

Prosecutors put the 79-year-old Guzman and 10 other imprisoned Shining Path leaders on trial for allegedly ordering the Tarata Street bombing that killed 25 people and wounded 155. Guzman was captured nearly two months later.

Guzman's lawyer, Alfredo Crespo, told The Associated Press that his client did not order the bombing, for which at least five people have been convicted.

Guzman, who spoke only his name to the judge in court Monday, has no chance of going free, but Crespo said at least two of his co-defendants would have been released had new charges not been brought.

Crespo said Guzman would be appearing in the same courtroom in the Callao military prison on charges in a separate case Friday stemming from rebels seizing an interprovincial bus in 1984 in Ayacucho state and killing 104 people.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path waged a bitter struggle that included urban terrorism and rural massacres. The 1980-2000 conflict clamed some 70,000 lives, most of them civilians.

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