LIMA, Peru — Peru's Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year prison sentence against American Lori Berenson for collaborating with leftist rebels in a thwarted plot to seize Congress, the presiding justice said Monday.
The panel was Berenson's last option for an appeal in the Peruvian justice system.
Berenson, 32, was convicted in June of terrorist collaboration in a failed bid by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement to take over Peru's Congress in 1995. She was acquitted of being a member of the rebel group.
The New York native was convicted in 1996 by a military tribunal and has served more than five years. Her original sentence of life in prison was overturned in August 2000 and a new trial was ordered after years of U.S. pressure.
Supreme Court Judge Guillermo Cabala said four of the five judges voted to uphold the 20-year sentence. One judge voted to reduce it to 15 years.
Her parents, Mark and Rhoda Berenson of New York, have begun a campaign to pressure Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo to grant her a pardon.
President Bush will visit Peru on March 23 to discuss trade and combating drug trafficking and terrorism with Toledo. Peruvian Foreign Minister Diego Garcia Sayan last week did not rule out discussion of Berenson's case by the leaders.
Also Monday, a former Peruvian army intelligence officer, who was tortured and left partially paralyzed by fellow agents in 1997 for allegedly leaking secrets about the hard-line rule of then-President Alberto Fujimori, received $120,000 and an official apology.
Leonor La Rosa's case highlighted the repression for which Peru's intelligence services were feared under Fujimori.