February 16, 2009
One hundred forty-fifth session. Former President Alberto Fujimori’s defense, headed by César Nakazaki, began its final arguments.
I. Arguments presented by Fujimori’s defense
Nakazaki indicated that he would present 11 issues over five to eight sessions in order to counteract the accusations made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyers for the victims’ families.
Four stages in the criminal trial
According to the lawyer, the arguments asserted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office are based on “narrations and stories,” and asserted that this trial against Fujimori can be divided in four different stages:
Historic trial. This is the first time in Peruvian history that a criminal trial has been held against a past president for a policy he applied.
Political trial. Nakazaki said that in this stage, Fujimori has already been absolved. He cited public opinion surveys that show the Peruvian population’s approval of the policies Fujimori employed in counter-terrorism measures.
Media trial. Nakazaki claimed the media go against Fujimori since most of them have already condemned Fujimori even though no sentence has been issued. This exerts a lot of pressure on the Court trying Fujimori, the lawyer said.
Legal trial. The trial is now in its decisive stage and Nakazaki claims that those who accuse Fujimori have suffered a setback in their arguments.
Reality of who is really trying Fujimori: counter-terrorist policies
Nakazaki claimed Fujimori is really being tried for his counter-terrorist policy from Nov. 1991 to July 1992. Thus the lawyer gave a detailed description based on statistical data of the social, economic and political reality that Peru faced until 1990, when Fujimori assumed the presidency. “Peru was a broken and terrorized country. Fujimori should be tried according to this reality.”
Justice is not punishment
Nakazaki asserted that justice has been confused with the issues of ‘no impunity’ or punishment: “We seek justice for Fujimori, not punishment, and we seek it through the best path that man has built: the law … Proof is the only way to the truth, which is necessary to arrive at justice. The truth is obtained through evidence, through proof … The lawyers representing President Fujimori fight so that justice is achieved in this trial, which can only be achieved through proof and truth.”
III. Next session
The Court adjouned the trial until Wednesday, Feb. 18. Nakazaki informed that his arguments would require no less than five sessions. Once the defense finishes, the Court will allow Fujimori to speak and later a sentence will be issued.