December 29, 2008
One hundred thirty-third session. The trial’s phase of watching and listening to the videos and audios presented by the Public Prosecutor, the lawyers for the victims’ families and Fujimori’s defense concluded this session. During the next session the Court will define the terms of the trial’s last phase before issuing a sentence.
I. Videos recognized
1. “Behind the scenes” video of an interview. by Alejandro Guerrero. An interview with José Picón Alcalde — former president of the Military Justice Supreme Council’s War Court — in May 1993 shows Vladimiro Montesinos, Fujimori’s former advisor, behind the cameras. According to the program that publicized the video in June 2008, Montesinos directed the interview.
Journalist Guerrero, who conducted the interview, claimed this “behind the scenes” video was maliciously edited in order to try to prove that it was an arranged interview and that a pact had been made with Montesinos.
Guerrero also said that Umberto Jara (who has also been a witness in this trial) was the television program’s director at the time of the interview. Guerrero claimed Jara insisted Picón be interviewed in order to respond to military general Rodolfo Robles Espinoza’s accusations in April 1993 that a military death squad participated in the La Cantuta murders.
In the trial session, Guerrero confirmed that the interview was conducted in the National Intelligence Service (SIN) building and in order to prove that this video had been inappropriately edited, he gave the Court a copy of the full interview, which was also watched during the session.
2. Four videos presented by lawyers for victims’ families. In the videos submitted by the lawyers for the victims’ families, Fujimori tells the media that he directs and gives orders to the military for counter-subversive operations and that these orders include annihilating members of subversive groups. He also assured in the video that by the year 1993, the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) would be eradicated.
2.1. July 1991 in the National University of Huancayo Center, one of the cities that was most affected during the internal armed conflict.
2.2. April 1992, press conference in the Government Palace.
2.3. End of 1991 (no date was specified), an announcement to the press at the University in La Cantuta.
2.4. Oct. 28, 1992, a meeting with high military and police commands, including Secretary of the Interior Juan Briones Dávila, who currently faces 10 years of prison for the April 5, 1992 coup d’état.
According to lawyer Carlos Rivera Paz, this evidence proves that Fujimori gave orders for counter-subversive operations to the military and that the military followed these orders, since the former president expressly states in the interviews that he personally gave orders to military officials.
3. Video presented by Fujimori’s defense. This video shows Fujimori entering the National University of San Marcos with military officials and shows other military personnel painting the university.
Fujimori’s lawyer, who initially presented three videos, has only requested for one to be shown in Court since the others have already been shown.
Fujimori asks to speak. At the end of the session, Fujimori invoked his right to respond to the videos shown in court: “I did not use the term annihilate in the sense of killing but rather as political language so that citizens would accompany the government, accompany the president. In the job of pacifying the country, I fulfilled [my promise] 100 percent with all Peruvians.”
II. Outside the courtroom
No opinion given by judge. In a press release, the Special Criminal Court dispelled rumors that Court President César San Martín had given an advanced opinion on the trial.
International observers still present. Throughout the duration of the trial, which started on Dec. 10, 2007, international observers have consistently been present at the hearing. Law students from US universities in Colorado attended this session.
Miscommunications between police and Judicial Power continue. This trial is held in a police base, where the Judicial Power has access to a certain area. Due to security measures imposed by the Peruvian police force, the Judicial Power has a vehicle to transport the people who attend the trial within the base. However, after over a year of using this vehicle, the police force has requested that the Judicla Power’s vehicle be removed fom the premises.
III. Next session
The Court appointed Dec. 31 for the next trial session, which will conclude with witnesses José Luis Bazán Adrianzén, former intelligence agent of the Army Intelligence Service (SIE), and Cecilia Valenzuela, journalist who distributed the “behind the scenes” video, as well as journalist Guillermo Gonzales.
The Court will then define the trial’s last phase. The concluding arguments will begin the second week of January 2009, after which a sentence will be issued.