(Alberto Fujimori with his defense lawyers. Photo: Judicial Power)
November 24, 2008
One hundred twenty-third session. Former President Alberto Fujimori’s defense continued to present evidence in order to demonstrate his innocence.
1. Inside the courtroomEvidence presented by Fujimori’s defenseLawyer Gladys María Vallejo continued to present evidence, including: army manuals, regulations, government orders, regulations on military command, reports, supreme decrees and other documents in order to disprove the Public Prosecutor’s accusation against Fujimori. The evidence covered the following issues: 1. Planning of counter-subversive operations.2. Armed institutions’ control system.3. Civic actions and public works completed during Fujimori’s government. According to Vallejo, Fujimori did not approve a dirty war strategy, but rather approved of a national strategy that was based on public support through civic action by military personnel. In reference to this assertion, she presented various supreme decrees passed between 1992 and 1994 that gave goods to campesino communities (indigenous populations in the Peruvian highlands) and shantytowns.4. Resulting policy of pacification in Fujimori’s government.5. International experiences and low-intensity conflicts.
Vallejo asserted that her client did not participate in the planning and execution of counter-subversive operations, but rather participated only as a member of the Unified Pacification Command (CUP, for its initials in Spanish) and the National Defense Council (CDN). Decisions are made by popular vote in both of these organizations.It’s important to keep in mind that the National Defense System was presided by the president, then Alberto Fujimori. The National Defense System included the CUP — the body “in charge of assuring the participation of all citizen sectors in all National Pacification activities in the internal front in response to terrorist actions and illegal drug trafficking” — as well as the CDN, the highest decision making body in the National Defense System, which established the policies that guided national defense, under the president. This is all in accordance with article 11 of Legislative Decree No. 743, signed by Fujimori on Nov. 8, 1991.Questioning from the Public Prosecutor’s Office
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the documents presented by Fujimori’s defense do not disprove its accusation that the former president approved of a dirty war strategy. Fujimori is not being accused for the documents presented, but rather for implementing a dirty war strategy as part of his government’s counter-subversive efforts, the Public Prosecutor said.
Thus according to the Public Prosecutor, though these documents are official and were complied with institutionally, in practice a dirty war was implemented through parallel official bodies, including the Colina Military Detachment whose job was to eliminate people suspected of subversive activities.
The Public Prosecutor further argued that it would not be possible for these two government responses to subversive activity — one official and one clandestine — to have been executed without Fujimori’s knowledge. Seeing as the clandestine strategy was executed by official military personnel, military vehicles and planned in military bases, it must have had official backing. Questioning from the lawyers for the victims’ families
Lawyer Carlos Rivera Paz reiterated that the manuals and orders offered by Fujimori’s defense were used for the “troops in sight” but not for the “troops out of sight,” in reference to Grupo Colina.
II. Incidents surrounding the criminal trialFujimori in Montesinos’ trial
On Nov. 17, the Court currently trying Vladimiro Montesinos — Fujimori’s former top advisor — made all the arrangements for the former president to testify. However, due to the absence of Montesinos’ lawyer, the session was suspended. The former advisor currently stands trial for homicide and embezzlement, among other charges.
The Court trying Montesinos will decide today if Fujimori will be summoned again to testify.
Due to complications in Fujimori’s health, members of his political party have stated that the ex-president should not testify in Montesinos’ trial. Alejandro Aguinaga, pro-Fujimori congressman and Fujimori’s personal doctor, said “The Court cannot attack the former president’s human rights. Now Fujimori’s health is the responsibility of those three judges.”
III. Next sessionIn the next session, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 26, Fujimori’s lawyers will continue to present evidence to disprove the Public Prosecutor’s accusation.Since this trial’s start on Dec. 10, 2007, a total of 83 witnesses have been presented by the prosecution (including the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyers for the victims’ families) and Fujimori’s defense to testify. Afterward, 21 trial sessions were dedicated to the presentation of evidence demonstrating Fujimori’s participation in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes, as well as the kidnap of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer.Fujimori’s lawyers are currently presenting evidence for the fourth consecutive session in order to disprove the Public Prosecutor’s accusation. On finishing, the Court will take a small recess, allowing both parts to prepare their concluding arguments and will then emit its decision.