Jailed for 15 years, US woman wants to be pastry chef

Last Updated: Wed, May 26, 2010 06:20 hrs

/EFE) An American woman, who spent 15 years in a Peruvian prison for helping rebels plan an attack on the parliament, has been granted parole and wants to work as a translator and a pastry chef.

Lori Berenson, 39, a native of New York, was released Tuesday. However, judge Jessica Leon Yarango barred her from leaving Peru and forbade any contact with others convicted of terrorism.

Berenson signed the parole document without raising any objections or consulting her attorney and resisted posing for photographers.

She has to remain in Peru for the remaining part of her original 20-year sentence, and is planning to work as a translator and a pastry chef, her lawyer said.

Berenson was arrested in December 1995 as she was leaving the Peruvian Congress. She was found to have entered the premises with false press credentials to obtain information on the building's security systems to plan an attack by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), prosecutors said.

A day after her arrest, police foiled a plot to occupy the Congress building, take lawmakers hostage and exchange them for jailed leaders of the now-defunct rebel group.

Berenson is married to Peruvian attorney Anibal Apari, who was also paroled several years ago after serving a sentence for links with the MRTA.

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