Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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Last session for Public Prosecutor to present evidence

November 14th, 2008 · No Comments

November 10, 2008

One hundred eighteenth session. The Public Prosecutor’s Office concluded its presentation of evidence to prove its accusation that former President Alberto Fujimori has command responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by the Colina Military Detachment, as well as for the kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer.

Evidence presented:

1.     Seven sentences from the Constitutional Court between 2004 and 2007

1.1.    Four decisions on files for petitions of habeas corpus made by military officials accused of being members of Colina: Juan Rivero Lazo, Julio Salazar Monroe, Máximo Cáceda Pedemonte and Gabriel Vera Navarrete.

1.2.    Two decisions on cases regarding legal protection for Santiago Martin Rivas.

1.3.    A sentence on the case of legal protection for Julio Salazar Monroe, in which the Court stated that: “the State’s obligation to investigate the acts and sanction those responsible for human rights violations, as declared in sentence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, not only nullifies trials where the amnesty laws no. 26479 and no. 26492 were applied, having declared them legally ineffective, but also nullifies all practices destined to impede investigation and sanction for violations to the rights to life and personal integrity; this includes the permanent stay of proceedings such as those ruled in favor of the petitioner.” (paragraph 32 of the sentence)

These constitutional trials were initiated by those who were tried for the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes, since they sought to shelve their trials with the argument that they had already been sentenced by the military courts. However, the Peruvian Constitutional Court did not grant their freedom, but rather ruled the amnesty laws invalid. According to Peruvian legislation and the Constitution, the Constitutional Court is the Supreme Interpreter of the Constitution (article 1 of the Organic Law of the Constitutional Court).

According to the Public Prosecutor, the Colina detachment’s objective “was to eliminate people, which is why the Constitutional Court indicated that [those accused] could not take refuge in amnesty laws for human rights violations.”

2.         Three sentences from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, regarding the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta cases, in which the Court found the Peruvian State responsible.

Public Prosecutor Avelino Guillén said that in the Inter-American Court sentence, issued on Nov. 29, 2006 for the La Cantuta crime, the Court established that Colina was a detachment appointed to the National Intelligence Service (SIN) that operated with Fujimori’s and the Army Command’s awareness, and that this detachment complied with a government policy that aimed to identify, control and eliminate alleged terrorists and persons who opposed Fujimori’s regime.

In this sentence, the Court considered that “In cases such as this one, where the State power apparatus was improperly used to commit State crimes (in a shocking distortion of the State purposes), constituting inadmissible violations of the jus cogens, to then conceal said crimes and keep its agents -perpetrators of those crimes- in impunity, and the victims’ next of kin (also victimized) in the most complete desolation and desperation, -in cases as those of La Cantuta and Barrios Altos, in which the crimes against human rights were perpetrated in the context of a proven practice by the State,- the patient reconstitution and determination of the facts by this Court constitute, themselves, one of the ways of providing satisfaction – as a form of reparation – owed to the victims’ surviving next of kin (who are also victims), and a way to honor the memory of the deceased victims.” (paragraph 58 of the sentence on the La Cantuta case)

3.         Sentence against Julio Salazar Monroe, issued by the First Special Criminal Court of the Superior Court of Justice in Lima.

Questioning from Fujimori’s defense

Fujimori’s defense, assumed this session by Gladys Vallejo Santa María, declared that the Constitutional Court rulings could not be taken into consideration since they were politically motivated so that Fujimori would not run for president in the coming elections.

Lawyer Vallejo also indicated that the State was illegally searched, that the sentences issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are not binding and that her client, Alberto Fujimori, was not personally sanctioned in them, but rather the Peruvian State.

She further questioned the rulings’ use of the Final Report of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a source since, Vallejo claimed, this is not a legal report.

Presentation of evidence by lawyers for the victims’ families

Afterward, the lawyer for the victims’ families, Carlos Rivera Paz, incorporated evidence in the debate by presenting issues from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report. At his request, certain paragraphs were read from the report. 

Next session 

The next session will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 12, where the lawyers for the victims’ families will present the evidence they consider relevant.

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