Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Hermoza says he knew of all intelligence operations

July 17th, 2008 · No Comments

July 16, 2008 

Eighty-second session. Former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos continued his testimony.

1.              Incidents during the hearing


Session delay

The session began almost an hour and a half behind schedule due to a coordination failure with the National Penitentiary Institute, resulting in Hermoza’s late arrival. Trial sessions (held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) last an average of six hours with breaks of twenty minutes and two hours. With this setback, this session lasted only four hours.


Additional evidence

The President of the Court, César San Martín, announced at the beginning of the session that on July 21 the Court will set a deadline for the presentation of document evidence and establish how it will be treated in this trial.

Amicus brief from George Washington University

César San Martín also announced that when Hermoza finishes his testimony, the Court will evaluate — after consulting the lawyers involved in this case — the admission of an amicus brief submitted by the George Washington University Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.


2. Hermoza’s testimony – The most important part of this session’s examination was:


La Cantuta Massacre

The witness did not investigate these murders even though Vladimiro Montesinos informed him of the crime hours after it occurred, saying that military personnel had “exceeded” the orders. Hermoza admitted that he didn’t ask Montesinos who had given the orders for the Colina detachment to enter the La Cantuta University on July 18, 1992. He also said that he doesn’t know and didn’t look into who had informed Montesinos of the crime. Hermoza only limited himself to say that Montesinos was a “man informed on questions of intelligence.”


Despite being Army Commander General, the witness said he did not inform then President Fujimori on any part of this crime. Neither Fujimori nor Montesinos requested him to carry out an investigation, even though it was known from the start that the crime had been carried out by Peruvian Army personnel.


However, Hermoza said that he did inform then Defense Minister, Víctor Malca Villanueva, who is currently a fugitive from Peruvian justice.


Army Intelligence Service (SIE) and Montesinos

Hermoza also said that as Commander General he knew all of the intelligence operations since these were “part of the system.” Furthermore, he stressed that the SIE and its operations were not dependent on Montesinos.


Fujimori and the counter-subversive struggle

Hermoza indicated that for the development of counter-subversive action, Fujimori did not give orders to the Armed Forces or organize. Regarding Fujimori’s arms handout to the civil population through the self-defense committees, Hermoza said that Fujimori did this so that citizens could defend themselves from subversive group the Shining Path, and that the proposal to hand out arms was given by commander generals from the security zones.


The general and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Hermoza indicated and insisted that he never met with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR, for its initials in Spanish); however, when the lawyer for the victims’ families, Carlos Rivera, reminded him that there is an audio of this encounter — an interview between Hermoza and the CVR — which is among the evidence to be presented in this trial, the witness claimed that he “did not remember the meeting.”


There were “many excesses”

Former Gen. Hermoza Ríos admitted that there were “many excesses” in the counter-subversive struggle, but justified them, arguing that it was a war and that all cases were investigated by the Army Inspector General. However, when he was asked to identify some of the cases considered “excesses,” he avoided giving names.


3.  Next session

The next trial session will take place on Monday, July 21, as informed last session, and former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos will continue his testimony.


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