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Fujimori’s defense says crime committed by Montesinos, not Fujimori

March 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

(Two of Fujimori’s lawyers: Johan Pinedo Rojas and César Nakazaki, left to right. Photo: Judicial Power) 

February 25, 2009

148th session. This is the fourth session that former president Alberto Fujimori’s defense team has presented closing arguments. Lawyer César Nakazaki continued to argue that the case of journalist Gustavo Gorriti did not involve kidnapping but rather abuse of office. Nakazaki also claimed that the author of this crime was Vladimiro Montesinos, Fujimori’s former advisor.

I. Arguments of Fujimori’s defense team

According to Fujimori’s principal lawyer, César Nakazaki:

Montesinos, not Fujimori

Nakazaki claimed that it was not his client, Fujimori, but rather Montesinos who gave the order to arrest Gorriti after the “installment of the National Emergency and Reconstruction Government, on April 5, 1992.” This change in government has been recognized internationally and by the Peruvian Judicial Power as a coup d’état.

According to Nakazaki, Fujimori found out about Gorriti’s arrest on April 8, 1992, in a foreign press conference in which Gorriti was present.

Nakazaki also said that Montesinos was the person who exceeded his role as Fujimori’s advisor and ordered for certain security measures to be adopted, including the detention of various politicians who opposed the April 5 coup. Furthermore, Montesinos supposedly arrested Gorriti for personal reasons that had nothing to do with the political happenings of that time.

Detention was not kidnap

Subsequently, Nakazaki argued that the crime committed against Gorriti does not fit the profile of a kidnap since this would imply that the victim had suffered and been mistreated at the time his freedom was taken. Nakazaki claimed that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not presented any proof of this cruel treatment nor did Gorriti mention this treatment in his testimony during this trial.

Nakazaki based this argument on jurisprudence from various international courts, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

II. Outside the courtroom

Regulations established for the verdict’s reading

The Court announced that the verdict for the trial against Fujimori will not be read in its entirety due to its length as well as doctor recommendations regarding how long Fujimori should remain seated in the courtroom. These regulations have been approved by the prosecution and defense.

Furthermore, immediately after the sentence is read, a copy  of the entire sentence will be sent electronically to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the lawyers for the victims’ families and Fujimori’s defense team, and will be posted on the Judicial Power’s webpage.

Nakazaki forgets his work material

Fujimori’s lawyer announced that he had forgotten his work material, including his glasses and notes.

Peruvian-Japanese relations

Relations between Peru and Japan were paralyzed for five years after Fujimori fled to Tokyo. When Fujimori traveled to Chile in 2005, the situation began to improve and according to Peru’s Foreign Minister José García Belaúnde, relations are currently back to normal: “Strangely, there has been no reference to Fujimori; neither with Parliament nor the foreign minister” (RPP). García also indicated that the trial against Fujimori is “public, filmed and carried out with respect to due process.”

As fujimoriontrial.org has already mentioned, the Japanese Embassy in Peru has carefully followed Fujimori’s trial. The embassy’s observer, Roberto Redhead, regularly attends the trial sessions.

III. Next session

The trial was suspended until next Monday, March 2, when Nakazaki will continue his final arguments. Once these are concluded, Fujimori will be permitted to speak.