Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Fujimori supporters request that trial be suspended

May 20th, 2008 · No Comments

Fujimori’s defense lawyer, César Nakazaki.  

May 20, 2008

Sixtieth session. Retired military general Rodolfo Robles Espinoza continued his testimony, having testified for the last four sessions where he has insisted that Fujimori had command of the Colina detachment through the National Intelligence Service (SIN). Also during this session, Fujimori’s supporters, or “fujimoristas,” requested that this criminal trial against the former president be suspended.


1. Incidents during the hearing:

Contradictions regarding Fujimori’s health.


According to the doctor from the Institute of Legal Medicine (IML), Eloy Loayza Sierra, last session Fujimori suffered from enterocolitis — an inflammation of the small and large intestine. However, the doctor confirmed that Fujimori is in a clinically stable condition.


Later, Fujimori said that on that day, May 14, the health ailment began at 3 am and he received medicine at 8:30 am. For this reason he was dehydrated at the beginning of last Wednesday’s session.


The Court, in turn, declared that during the last session, they received absolutely no information from the IML or its doctors, and requested that the Court be informed the next time these kinds of incidents occur.


Fujimoristas’ request to suspend the trial.


That same day, pro-Fujimori Congressman and personal doctor of Fujimori, Alejandro Aguinaga — who has been proposing a pardon or amnesty for Fujimori since September 2007 — declared that a 15-day recess in the trial would be convenient, since it is possible that the former president has cancer. However, Luis Bromley, head of the IML, has said that this miniscule lesion should not hold up the trial and assured that Fujimori will undergo a biopsy.


However, as state prosecutor José Peláez pointed out, a recess in the trial cannot surpass eight days, according to Article 267 in the Criminal Procedures Code. A recess that exceeds eight days results in the trial being annulled altogether, in which case the trial would have to be reinitiated later from scratch. 


2. Robles’ testimony:

SIN intervetion in impunity for La Cantuta crime.


Robles told how in 1993 the National Intelligence Service intervened in the military court’s criminal trial for the Cantuta crime, based on documents and testimony that Robles presented to Congress in 2001, of which he recalled:


1.     Rafael Merino Bartet, former political advisor to high directors of the SIN, testified that from his computer somebody wrote the sentence that the Supreme Council of Military Justice (CSJM) used to deny authorization for members of the Peruvian army to testify on this crime before the Constituent Democratic Congress. Likewise, the CSJM’s June 9, 1993 resolution declaring it inappropriate for Vladimiro Montesinos — Fujimori’s former advisor and spy chief — to testify before the Constituent Democratic Congress, was also written from within the SIN.

2.     Hugo Pow San Sotelo, auditor of the military’s War Court in the trial for the Cantuta crime, was one of the military officials who in March 1999 signed the Act of Submission, through which military officials pledged their defense of the coup d’état executed on April 5, 1992.

3.     The announcement of high military command and police backing given to then Commander General of the Peruvian Army, Nicolás Hermoza Ríos (prompted by the investigation of the Cantuta crime initiated by the Constituent Democratic Congress), was also written within the SIN.


Exchange of words between witness and defense lawyer.


Due to the questions posed by Fujimori’s lawyer, Robles responded at one point that the questions on intelligence terms were incoherent and what the defense was trying to do is confuse him. Nakazaki’s response was: “if you are saying that I’m causing confusion, it seems to me that you are avoiding the answers” and “believe me, I know more about intelligence than you do about law interpretation.” At this, the Court had to intervene and demand order.


Strategy of Fujimori’s defense


Nakazaki’s questions centered on an exhaustive range of military norms. It’s important to note that each time a witness that incriminates Fujimori has been presented, the former president’s defense strategy has been just as one of the lawyers for the victims’ families described at the beginning of the trial.

Robles said that through the SIN, Fujimori had command of the Colina detachment since an intelligence chain parallel to the official one was established, which does not appear in the regulations.


In response, defense lawyer Nakazaki said that Fujimori could only dictate orders and not any other document, meaning that Robles was mistaken.

Robles answered that the president could indeed use any document to establish criteria, for example, the praise-giving memo that Fujimori signed in 1991, which established that the members of the analysis group should be praised and recognized. These members — close friends or relatives of Montesinos — were later integrated to the Colina military detachment.


To date in the criminal trial against Fujimori for human rights violations, various defense strategies have appeared:


1.     Political and journalistic strategy of seeking to annul the trial by claiming Fujimori has a serious health condition. However, the Peruvian Institute of Legal Medicine has denied the seriousness of the situation.

2.     Legal strategy established by Fujimori’s lawyer, which argues that since there is no order signed by Fujimori for the crimes he’s being tried for, culpability cannot be proven.