(Former general and interior minister, Juan Briones Dávila. Photo: Judicial Power)
July 23, 2008
Eighty-fourth session. The retired division general and former interior minister, Juan Briones Dávila, gave his testimony in this session. Briones is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for rebellion and kidnapping in the April 5, 1992 coup d’état.
1. Incidents during the hearing:
The Court heard defense’s and prosecution’s arguments regarding the amicus curiae brief presented by George Washington University. According to Alberto Fujimori’s lawyer, César Nakazaki, this document should be declared inadmissible since it does not meet Peruvian criminal procedure requirements. Nakazaki also claimed that the brief favors the victims’ families in the trial; however, the Public Prosecutor believed that the amicus brief would provide clarity the criminal trial. The lawyer for the victims’ families, Ronald Gamarra, indicated that though the brief may not be in line with certain documents, there is no reason to declare it inadmissible since it does not substitute the Court, but rather provides a guide for applying international doctrine.
The Court announced that it will decide on this issue as soon as possible.
One part of the amicus brief reads: “In light of international criminal law and considering the evidence gathered by the Special Criminal Court, Alberto Fujimori, in his position as head of state, allowed, facilitated and participated in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes […] Neither did he fulfill the obligation of investigating and sanctioning those responsible for these crimes. On the contrary, legislative and judicial measures, promoted by the Executive, were adopted in order to favor the Colina Group members.” (our translation of the original, in Spanish)
More document evidence
The Public Prosecutor handed in more document evidence, including declassified US government documents, which was accepted by the Court.
2. Briones Dávila’s testimony– The witness, called by Fujimori’s defense, announced that he would invoke his right to silence on issues related to the April 5 coup since he is currently appealing his sentence. The former general first answered the defense’s questions and later those of the prosecution. Among the most important responses are:
Only guidelines, not crimes
Briones said he only knew about the government’s guidelines for national pacification during the 1990s.
On Barrios Altos
Since this occurred before Briones assumed the position of interior minister, he said he did not investigate the case, which was already in the hands of the National Counter-Terrorism Office (DINCOTE) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The witness claimed that despite being the interior minister, he only found out in 1993 that Army Intelligence Service (SIE) members committed the La Cantuta crime. He also claimed he never knew of the Colina military detachment’s existence.
Briones said that the National Police Force was very active in the capture of Abimael Guzmán, leader of the subversive group Shining Path, but admitted that he did not know about the work of the police force’s Special Intelligence Group (GEIN) that orchestrated the capture. Another witness, Marco Miyashiro, has testified that Vladimiro Montesinos — former President Fujimori’s “key part” and trusted right hand man — never directed or knew of the GEIN’s work.
3. Next session
The session for July 25 has been suspended, thus the trial will continue on July 30, where Jesús Sosa Saavedra will testify.