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Vladimiro Montesinos says crimes can be committed for matters of state

July 1st, 2008 · No Comments

(Vladimiro Montesinos, former presidential advisor to Alberto Fujimori. Photo: Judicial Power)

June 30, 2008

Seventy-sixth session. Vladimiro Montesinos Torres decided to give his testimony instead of invoking his right to silence, in order to proclaim that Fujimori had no responsibility for the crimes he is accused of. But after the Public Prosecutor’s examination, Montesinos invoked his right to silence, concluding his testimony.

1. Vladimiro Montesinos Torres’ testimony. Montesinos responded defensively to the first questions of Public Prosecutor Antonio Peláez Bardales, calling himself a “former intelligence official” and “President Fujimori’s subordinate.” According to Montesinos, his trial for treason and consequent ban on entering military buildings for 16 years was fictitious, and said he gave his all as a military intelligence officer. The most interesting parts of Montesinos’ testimony were:

Montesinos admitted that crimes can be committed for matters of state

Vladimiro Montesinos said that he had participated in phone tapping since 1974, which led to the Public Prosecutor’s question, “Do you mean to say that for matters of state crimes can be committed?” Montesinos firmly responded “yes.”

Montesinos attended trial to clear Fujimori of responsibility for crimes

For more than three hours Montesinos defended Fujimori from the crimes is accused of: “I have come in order to clarify that Mr. Fujimori has no responsibility in the acts that make up this trial.” This clearly contradicted his statements to the Telemando chain in 2001, when he said: “A courageous and responsible leader should face up to what his subordinates have done, or what he permitted us to do,” indicating Fujimori’s responsibility. Likewise, when Fujimori was in Japan as a fugitive from Peruvian justice, already accused of human rights violations, he stated, “If you have contact with Montesinos, you have the impression you are dealing with a sincere man with a kind face. But behind that face, we now know a diabolical person is hidden.” At this time, Fujimori’s possible return to Peru was not anticipated.

 

Montesinos made unfounded accusations

Referring to army generals and the defense ministry during Alejandro Toledo’s presidency (2001-2006), Montesinos said. “none of these generals can tell me they are faultless.”

Montesinos also said that then Public Prosecutor Pedro Méndez Jurado and Avelino Guillén (one of the Public Prosecutors in charge of this trial) were able to close a wiretapping investigation through coordination with Montesinos. Méndez Jurado has already deceased, for which reason he could not defend himself.

 

Montesinos made these kinds of derogatory statements toward various people, including former Vice President Máximo San Román, who according to the witness, only served to bring Fujimori coffee.

Surprising announcement at end of questioning

Moments before the trial’s recess for lunch, Montesinos asked to speak and informed the Court that he would now invoke his right to silence, refusing to answer any further questions from the Public Prosecutor. At this, the Court President expressed his displeasure since Montesinos had not informed them at the beginning of the session that his testimony would be cut short. However, he ruled that despite Montesinos’ unforeseen change of opinion, the witness’ right to silence would prevail.

2. Incidents during the hearing:

 

Montesinos’ transfer

Montesinos arrived to the hearing’s location in the early morning with strong security measures. To date, he is the witness who has needed the most security.

 

Long wait for Montesinos’ presence

At the beginning of the session, the Public Prosecutor and later Ronald Gamarra — lawyer for the victims’ families — presented to the Court a series of documents found in computers of the National Intelligence Service (SIN). This presentation lasted approximately 40 minutes, heightening the anticipation of Montesinos’ presence in the courtroom. Fujimori and Montesinos had not seen each other in person since 2001, which generated a lot of excitement. Fujimori’s children, who had stopped attending the trial, reappeared for this session.

Looks between Fujimori and Montesinos

During the entire session, Fujimori and Montesinos exchanged glances and facial gestures, implying there might have been a possible deal between them. Some lawyers, such as José Ugáz Sáchez-Moreno, have said that “Both know that their judicial survival depends on the mutual refusal to incriminate the other. Both defenses have surely been in contact and have sought a deal for neither to jeopardize the other.”

3. Next session: Pedro Villanueva Valdivia

The Court called former Army Commander General, Pedro Villanueva Valdivia, to testify in the next session on Wednesday, July 2.

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