Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori admitted at the opening of his corruption trial July 20 that he had paid his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos $15 million in public funds to quit as his regime collapsed in 2000. But he added: “I only accept the facts, I do not accept the criminal responsibility, the punishment or the civil reparations.”
Chief Prosecutor Alvaro Guillen asked for eight years on the embezzlement charge, and that Fujimori pay $670,000 in reparations. Guillen said Fujimori had paid Montesinos shortly after a video of the spy chief bribing a lawmaker surfaced.
The ex-strongman faces two more trials for allegedly authorizing illegal phone taps, bribes to congressmen, and secretly buying a TV station for political propaganda with state money. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April for overseeing death squad activity that claimed 25 lives. (AP, July 20)
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Fujimori: bribery saved Peru
Fujimori said July 17 that the illegal $15 million payoff he made to his powerful spy chief served to stave off a military coup. “I was obligated to do it because the stability of the country was at risk … given the total control that ex-adviser Vladimiro Montesinos had over military leadership,” Fujimori testified. (AP, July 17)
Fujimori gets another seven years
Alberto Fujimori was condemned July 20 to seven years and six months in prison on embezzlement charges related to his pay-off to Vladimiro Montesinos. This is the thrid sentence against the former president. In April, he received a 25-year term—currently under appeal—for human rights violations related to two massacres in which 25 people were killed in 1991 and 1992. In Decmber 2007, after his extradition from Chile, he received a six-year sentence for having ordered am illegal break-in at the home of Trinidad Becerra, Montesinos’ wife. This sentence was upheld on appeal. (AFP, July 20)
Fujimori to face fourth trial
Alberto Fujimori is to stand another trial on September, which will be the fourth since his extradition from Chile in 2007. Peruvian judicial sources said Aug. 7 that the former president will be tried over the wiretapping of opposition leaders, the “purchasing” of opposition legislators, and news media manipulation. The prosecution is calling for eight years in prison and reparations of $1.65 million, as well as $1 million dollars in reparations to those affected by phone tapping. (Press TV, Aug. 8; AFP, Aug. 7)
Fujimori pleads guilty
Fujimori, already facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison, pleaded guilty Sept. 28 to authorizing illegal wiretaps and bribes of politicians, journalists and businessmen. Fujimori, 71 and ailing, appeared to sleep during the chief prosecutor’s accusation, but he stirred at the close of the session to speak three words to the presiding judge: “Sir, I agree.” The prosecutor, José Peláez, requested an 8-year term, which would be served concurrently with a 25-year term imposed in his previous murder and kidnapping trial. Fujimori could be freed far earlier, however, if his daughter Keiko is elected president in 2011. She has vowed to pardon her father, and has led in some recent campaign polls. (AP, Sept. 28)
Fujimori gets another six years
Fujimori received another six-year term and a $9 million fine Sept. 30 for authorizing wiretaps and bribes of journalists, businessmen and others in what was apparently dubbed “Plan Emilio” to neutralize political opposition. (AP, Sept. 30; AFP, Sept. 29)