July 21, 2008
Eighty-third session. Former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos completed his last day of testimony and classified the crimes committed by military officials in the counter-subversive war as “excesses.”
1. Incidents during the hearing
Three more witnesses
The Court announced that after all witnesses from the defense and prosecution have testified, three more witnesses will be called to testify in former President Alberto Fujimori’s trial for human rights violations. The Court will summon the following three witness in order to guarantee a “necessary clarification of the acts” and reach a fair decision: Rafael Merino Bartet (former National Intelligence Service advisor), Benedicto Fernández Baca (former head of the Special Intelligence Group who aided in Abimael’s Guzmán’s capture), and Jesús Sosa Saavedra (former agent in the Colina Detachment).
The Court also announced that new document evidence may be presented until the end of Jesús Sosa Saavedra’s testimony.
2. Hermoza Ríos’ testimony – The witness responded to the questions of his lawyer as well as Fujimori’s lawyer, César Nakazaki, and later answered the judges’ questions. The most relevant aspects of the testimony were:
Vladimiro Montesinos’ leading role
Hermoza highlighted the leading role that Vladimiro Montesinos had in the counter-subversive struggle, his role as intelligence advisor and his connection with the Armed Forces intelligence directors.
No knowledge of Plan Cipango
Hermoza said that between 1991 and 1993 he never saw, never knew nor heard of a Plan Cipango, which witness Marcos Flores Albán described as a document written in 1991 that was used to create the Colina Detachment. When Hermoza was shown the document, he said it was poorly designed and that there was no mention of a combat mission. However, witness Víctor Silva Mendoza acknowledged the existence of Plan Cipango and its role in establishing the Colina Detachment.
Peruvian Army did not start low-intensity war
According to Hermoza, the Peruvian Armed Forces did not use a low-intensity war in its counter-subversive struggle. Furthermore, the witness claimed that according to military doctrine, a “low-intensity war” does not include extrajudicial executions or the murder of unarmed persons. Hermoza also said that the Armed Forces only followed written orders. It’s important to note that the strategy of Fujimori’s lawyer is based on there being no documents signed by Fujimori ordering the La Cantuta and Barrios Altos or the kidnap of Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer.
When Hermoza was asked about the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes, he called them “excesses,” said they went against the national pacification policy and there is no written order for the crime.
La Cantuta crime
Hermoza said he didn’t know if Fujimori had ordered the Cantuta crime and that he didn’t inform Fujimori of the crime since the then president was a “very reserved” person.
3. Next session
Hermoza’s testimony concluded this session. For the next session on Wed., July 23, former Secretary of the Interior, Juan Briones Dávila, has been summoned. Briones was condemned in November 2007 by the Peruvian Supreme Court to 10 years of prison for treason and kidnapping.