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Judicial Power says it did not play part in changes made to Fujimori’s penitentiary regime

August 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

August 1, 2008

Eighty-sixth session. Former Colina agent Jesús Sosa Saavedra continued his testimony and confirmed the crimes that Colina committed. He also testified that despite being tried in a military court, he was decorated by the Peruvian Army in 1994. During the session, the Court also clarified that it had no part in changing former President Alberto Fujimori’s penitentiary regime. 

1.              Incidents surrounding the criminal trial


Judicial Power did not intervene in changes to Fujimori’s penitentiary regime

At the beginning of the session, the Court clearly stated that it did not play a part in making Fujimori’s penitentiary regime more flexible. “The Court at no time indicated what the penitentiary regime should or must be, and we certainly didn’t process, order or execute any regulation related to the penitentiary regime. Legally, the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) has the first word, according to Criminal Execution Code. Furthermore, we weren’t even notified of the penitentiary changes.”

This statement came as a response to declarations made by Lenoardo Caparrós, the head of the INPE. After the interior minister’s and musicians’ visit to Fujimori’s cell, Caparrós told the press that nothing irregular had occurred since Fujimori’s regime was changed two months ago from special to ordinary. Justice Minister Rosario Fernández stated on Thursday, Aug. 31, that this decision was made by the Judicial Power. Thus the Court magistrates, in turn, announced that this decision had not come from them, but rather the INPE, which reports to the Justice Ministry. On May 20 and 25, meetings were held between Fernández and pro-Fujimori congressman, Rolando Souza.

Fujimori’s current regime

According to the Peruvian Regulation Code for Criminal Execution, a prisoner should be maintained in each of the stages — that is, in a closed special regime or a closed ordinary regime — for a minimum of two years: “Article 65-B: […] An inmate will be kept in each of these stages for a minimum of two years. The inmate’s promotion to the next stage requires four favorable evaluations.” Fujimori, who has already been sentenced to six years of prison for the crime of illegal entry, currently has eight hours of visitation three days per week and eight hours access to outdoor areas. He may receive visits by anyone authorized by him, has access to newspapers, magazines, books, television, a music equipment and DVD player and also has singing and painting lessons.


Head of Institute of Legal Medicine resigns

On Aug. 1, Luis Bromley’s resignation was accepted. Bromley said in his medical report in April that Fujimori is in good health. 

Bromley’s resignation has caused some suspicion among local media. Perú21 reported that “initially, Bromley had attempted to explain his resignation as a necessary ‘renovation’ for the institute, but he later had to admit that this situation ‘coincides’ with ‘other external factors that don’t have much to do with the institute,’ making a tacit reference to criticisms he’s received from the fujimoristas and their recent negotiations [with the Apra ruling political party] during the elections for congressional president.” 

Amicus curiae admitted

The Court announced that after reports from the defense and prosecution, it will accept the amicus curiae presented by the George Washington University Human Rights Clinic. The amicus brief indicates that Fujimori permitted, facilitated and participated in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta murders. The Court’s legal reasoning was read during the trial.


2. Sosa’s testimony – Public Prosecturo Avelino Guillén continued with his examination from the previous session. Among the most important aspects of the witness’ testimony were:


Barrios Altos

According to Sosa, the decision to murder in this “intelligence operation” was made by Santiago Martín Rivas, head of the Colina military detachment. Though Sosa said Martín Rivas was in charge of planning the operation, he presumed that the order for its execution came from Pedro Villanueva Valdivia, who was then the Army Commander General.


The El Santa and Pedro Yauri crimes

The witness admitted that as a member of Colina, he participated in the El Santa murders on May 2, 1992 as well as the forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of journalist Pedro Yauri Bustamante on June 24, 1994.


La Cantuta

Sosa repeated that he participated in the La Cantuta crime and that he was the person who filmed the arrest of the professor and students. However, he said that he destroyed video afterward. He also said that while the victims were being executing, he looked for a place to bury them.


Decorated in 1994

The witness said that in 1994 he was decorated by the Peruvian Army General Command with the “Peace Medal.” At that time, the Army Commander General was Nicolás Hermoza Ríos, who is currently being tried for the La Cantuta murders and who shares the same defense lawyer as Fujimori. Another Colina agent, Nelson Carvajal García, was also decorated even though he and Sosa were being tried for the La Cantuta crime.


Leaving Colina

The witness said that he left Colina based on two arguments he had with Santiago Martín Rivas for “excessive spending” that had been made, which was not given to Colina agents.


3. Next sessionAt the end of the session, the President of the Court announced that the next session will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 6 since Monday, Aug. 4 is “Judges’ Day.” The next session will continue with Sosa’s testimony.