May 30, 2008
Sixty-fifth session. Former police general Antonio Ketín Vidal continued his testimony from the last session. Vidal reiterated that Fujimori asked him to support Vladimiro Montesinos against accusations of his ties to drug-trafficking. Also, Fujimori admitted that he had coordinated Montesinos’ defense with the Minister of the Interior.
1. Incidents during the hearing:
Hearing to be suspended for one week.
On Wednesday, June 4, the session will only take place in the morning. Afterward the trial will be suspended until Wednesday, June 11 since Alberto Fujimori will have surgery to remove the leukoplakia from his tongue. As previously mentioned, according to the Peruvian Criminal Procedures Code, Fujimori must be present at each trial session.
On May 29, 2008, the Lima Bar Association’s Court of Ethics suspended Fujimori’s lawyer, César Nakazaki, from practicing for two years. In 2005, Nakazaki announced during a press conference that he had reviewed the ex-president’s court case with the help of a judge. However, at this point he had not yet been appointed as Fujimori’s lawyer, in which case this was against the Bar Association’s ethics.
Nakazaki told the press that this sanction was intended to affect Fujimori’s defense in the trial he currently faces. However, this ruling will only take effect in the case it is upheld after Nakazaki’s appeal. Even if the ruling is upheld, Nakazaki will be able to continue practicing since he is a member of bar associations in other cities in Peru.
(Read more in the Peruvian Times.)
2. Ketín Vidal Herrera’s testimony. Among the most important aspects of the former police general’s testimony:
There was no “strategic equilibrium.”
According to the witness, in 1992, there was no “strategic equilibrium,” meaning that it was not possible for subversive group Shining Path to win the war against the Peruvian state. The “strategic equilibrium” was the argument that Fujimori himself gave to justify the coup d’état on April 5, 1992.
Since June 1991, Shining Path’s principle leaders — including Yovanka Pardavé, Tito Valle Travesaño and Víctor Zavala Cataño — were captured by the Peruvian police, which provided them with more intelligence information.
This backs the testimony given by military generals Velarde Ramírez and Fernández-Dávila Carnero, who also testified that at the moment of the 1992 coup, Shining Path unable to destabilize the country.
According to Vidal, Shining Path’s official documents stated that they had already reached “strategic equilibrium” but that the Peruvian police took this as a false claim.
Fujimori’s insinuations were almost orders for police and military.
In reference to when Fujimori asked the witness to give a tv interview defending Vladimiro Montesinos against accusations of ties to drug-trafficking, Vidal said that all requests or insinuations given by the president “are almost orders” for the military and police.
It’s important to remember that Fujimori’s defense is based on his not giving direct orders to military officials, in which case he would not have had command over the Colina military detachment.
On kidnap of Peruvian businessman Samuel Dyer Ampudia by agents of the National Intelligence Service, the witness claimed that police investigations never found any link between Dyer and terrorism. He also testified that up to now he has had doubts on Dyer’s supposed escape. Vidal considered it odd that he could escape from a military base, over all the General Base of the Peruvian Army.
3. Fujimori admitted that he coordinated Montesinos’ defense with the Defense Ministry.
At the end of the session, Fujimori said that he coordinated Vladimiro Montesinos’ defense with then Minister of the Interior, Juan Briones Dávila (currently sentenced to 10 years in prison for kidnap and rebellion for his participation in the 1992 coup). However, he denied that he had told Vidal Herrera what to say in Montesinos’ defense. Fujimori did not mention the alleged call he made to Vidal in which he suggested Vidal defend Montesinos.
4. Julio Salazar Monroe will testify next.
Julio Salazar Monroe is scheduled to testify in the next session on Monday, June 2. Monroe is currently sentenced to 35 years in prison for forced disappearance in the Cantuta case. This ruling also establishes that Fujimori had command over Colina through the National Intelligence Service.