Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Defense questions testimony from Public Prosecutor’s witnesses

December 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

(Alberto Fujimori. Photo: Judicial Power) 

December 1, 2008

One hundred twenty-sixth session. Former President Alberto Fujimori’s defense continued to present evidence, basing its debate during this session on the validity of testimonies from former Colina members, who the Public Prosecutor’s Office presented to testify.

I. Inside the courtroom

1. International observers. León Carlos Arslanián, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Jorge Valerga Araoz and Guillermo Ledesma — all Argentine magistrates who tried and sentenced the Argentine military junta (1984-1985) in a trial in 1985 — were present for this session. The magistrates sentenced Farael Videla and Emilio Massera to life in prison, Roberto Viola to 17 years in prison, Armando Lambruschini to eight years and Orlando Agosti to four years.

2. San Román’s testimony. Last session, Fujimori’s defense questioned the evidential value of the testimony given by Máximo San Román, who was vice president of Peru from 1990 until the April 5, 1992 coup d’état. Therefore, during this session the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyers for the victims’ families defended the value of San Román’s testimony as evidence.

3. Evidence presented by Fujimori’s defense. Lawyer Johan Pinedo led Fujimori’s defense during this session, along with Gladys María Vallejo. Fujimori’s principal lawyer, César Nakazaki, was absent once again for this session.

Validity of military officials’ testimony: Víctor Silva Mendoza, former head of the Army Intelligence Service (SIE), as well as Marcos Flores Albán, Hugo Coral Goycochea and Pablo Atúncar Cama.

According to the defense, these testimonies are not valuable as evidence since the witnesses have given inconsistent and contradictory declarations before the national police force, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and in other military and civilian trials from 2001 to date:

3.1. For Silva Mendoza, the defense presented 19 testimonies.

3.2. For Flroes Albán, 17 testimonies.

3.3.For Coral Goycochea, 12 testimonies.

3.4. For Atúncar Cama, 9 testimonies.

 

Fujimori’s defense signaled that Flores Albán, Coral Goycochea and Atúncar Cama changed their initial versions, in which they denied having formed part of the Colina Military Detachment and having participated in its crimes. However, after having received the benefits of an effective collaboration from 2001 onward, the military officials changed their testimonies.

The law establishes benefits for effective collaboration in the realm of organized crime. Law 27378, in force since Dec. 20, 2000, calls for certain “rewards” such as a “sentence reduction” for giving information, as long as this information is useful and serves in clarifying the crime at hand. Furthermore, in 2001 illegal million-dollar bank accounts of high-ranking military officials during Fujimori’s government were found.

Works carried out by the Peruvian Army’s National Development Office. Lastly, the defense presented a series of agreements signed from 1994 to 1999 between the Transport and Communications Ministry and the Defense Ministry, in efforts to show that the policy of Fujimori’s government was to get closer to the population through civic works, such as building highways.

4. Questioning from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. According to Public Prosecutor Guillén, while the defense lawyers question the testimonies of some of his witnesses, the fact that they use this testimony implies it is valid for them.

The Public Prosecutor claims that though the witnesses mentioned have omissions in their testimonies, there is consistency in the main aspects:

4.1. Flores Albán: Gave important information on how the Colina Military Detachment functioned, about the Plan Cipango, Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos’ speech in the Army General Command in June 1992 to military intelligence officials, including Colina members.

4.2. Coral Goycochea: Testimony changed due to his decision to collaborate effectively, in accordance with Law No. 27378, and give a voluntary confession.

4.3. Atúncar Cama: Gave information on the follow-up and order to eliminate leftist politicians Yehude Simon (currently Prime Minister) and Javier Diez Canseco (former congressman). The order did not receive the “green light” in the end and was thus not executed.

5. Questions from the lawyers for the victims’ families. According to the lawyers for the victims’ families, based on national criminal jurisprudence, if a witness changes his or her testimony, this does not invalidate all that has been declared, but rather should be evaluated by the magistrates at the time to make a decision.  

II. Next session

In the next session, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 3, Fujimori’s lawyers will continue presenting evidence for the seventh consecutive session. On Dec. 10, a year will have passed since the trial’s start. 

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