LIMA, Peru — A Peruvian judge ordered convicted rebel collaborator Lori Berenson freed from prison Friday, ruling her initial parole decision sound, but the New Yorker's legal troubles remained unresolved.
Judge Jessica Leon originally paroled Berenson in May, deeming her rehabilitated after having served the required three-quarters of a 20-year sentence for assisting the leftist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA.
But a higher court annulled the judge's decision on a technicality in August, sending Berenson back to a Lima woman's prison. She took her 18-month old son, Salvador, with her.
Berenson, 40, showed no emotion as the judge ruled in a prison courtroom. Her lawyer and husband, Anibal Apari, said he expected her to be freed within 24 hours.
The former Massachusetts Institute of Technology student and left wing activist must remain in Peru, however, until her full sentence is served — unless President Alan Garcia decides to commute it.
Garcia has indicated he would not consider a decision until all of the legal issues in the case have been resolved — which means Berenson could be stuck in Peru for some time. The prosecutor in the case said he would appeal Friday's ruling.