Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Defense argues that Dyer’s arrest did not involve “cruel treatment”

March 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

(Room for press and observers of Fujimori’s human rights trial. Photo: Praxis) 

March 4, 2009

150th session. César Nakazaki, Fujimori’s principal lawyer, continued presenting final arguments in his client’s defense. According to Nakazaki, Fujimori should not be condemned for the case of Samuel Dyer, nor for the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres — all of which were perpetrated while Fujimori was president of Peru and thus Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces.

I. Arguments of Fujimori’s defense

1. Samuel Dyer

Nakazaki said that for the sake of time, he would not repeat all the arguments he presented for the case of journalist Gustavo Gorriti. However, he presented the same base arguments:

·  Absence of proof

·  Statute of limitations (expiration of time period allowed to try Fujimori for the case)

·  Non-criminality of the act that he is accused of (that the acts committed against Dyer do not fit the Peruvian Criminal Code’s definition of aggravated kidnapping).

·  No cruel treatment against Dyer can be proven

Regarding the lack of cruel treatment, Nakazaki presented the following testimonies as proof:

            ·  Alberto Pinto Cárdenas, former chief in the Army Intelligence Service (SIE) where Dyer was held while arrested and where Fujimori lived at the time

            ·  Washington Rivera Valencia, Peruvian police official

            ·  Ketín Vidal, Peruvian police official

            ·  Adolfo Cuba y Escobedo, former police chief and police official

            ·  Samuel Dyer, the kidnap victim

2. Barrios Altos and La Cantuta case

Acquittal due to absence of proof. As in the case of Gorriti and Dyer, Nakazaki argued that there is no proof to sentence Fujimori for these cases. In this regard, Nakazaki argued that the coup d’état on April 5, 1992 gave rise to the “National Reconstruction and Emergency Government,” and that the coup could not be considered rebellion since it was publicly accepted, having the approval of the majority of the population.

In this way, in accordance with the Peruvian Criminal Code, Fujimori did not have criminal responsibility and thus did not commit a crime. Nakazaki based the explanation of this argument on the other coups experienced in Peru and the national constitutions since 1867. He also mentioned that a Constituent Assembly was created (the Democratic Constituent Congress, CCD) with constitutional, legislative and supervising powers.

Consequently, the CCD passed a Constitutional Law establishing that Fujimori was the country’s constitutional chief and represented the nation. Thus when the crimes of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta were perpetrated, Fujimori was the rightful president since he was backed by the population and the CCD.

Nakazaki further argued that in November 1992 — after the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes had already been committed — Fujimori was the legal and rightful president of Peru, in accordance with the law, and as such was the Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and could thus establish a counter-subversive strategy.

II. Outside the courtroom

New testimony and documents from former SIN chief

The new defense lawyer for military official Julio Salazar Monroe — former chief of the National Intelligence Service (SIN) when the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres were perpetrated — has announced that on Mar. 13 an official document sent by Salazar to Alberto Fujimori will be presented.

According to Salazar’s lawyer, in this document, dated June 20, 1991 — before the Colina Military Detachment’s first crime — Salazar tells Fujimori about the formation of the “analysis group,” lists its members and requests recognition for these military officials, including:

Salazar testified in Fujimori’s human rights trial in June 2008, while he was still receiving legal counsel from the law firm of César Nakazaki, Fujimori’s principal lawyer. Nakazaki also represents Nicolás Hermoza Ríos, former Commander General of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces under Fujimori.

In his own trial, Salazar was sentenced to 35 years in prison for forced disappearance, marking the first time in Peru’s history that a military general was convicted for this crime against humanity. However, Salazar decided to change lawyers and is currently represented by Iván Torres La Torres.

Montesinos’ trial for kidnap

The Peruvian Judicial Power initiated a trial against Vladimiro Montesinos for the alleged aggravated kidnapping of:

The kidnaps were perpetrated on April 5, 1992 and the victims were held in the Peruvian Army quarters and Navy ships. Montesinos is already being tried for corruption and human rights violations and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegally trafficking arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

III. Next session

The next trial session is scheduled for Monday, Mar. 9. Nakazaki will continue to present final arguments, after which Fujimori will be permitted to speak in accordance with article 272 of the Peruvian Criminal Code.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Baney // Mar 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

    It’s odd that Nakazaki is arguing that the autogolpe wasn’t a crime given that 1) Fujimori isn’t being tried for the autogolpe itself but rather kidnapping and 2) the Poder Judicial has already determined that the autogolpe was indeed a crime (http://www.larepublica.com.pe/content/view/190845/483/).

    It seems to me that the arguments that Gustavo Gorriti was “illegally detained but not kidnapped,” that his detention was part of a coup and therefore unpunishable in court, and that the coup was legal because Peru had a previous coup in 1968 all smack of desperation. If these are the best arguments that Nakazaki can make then Fujimori must be nervous. Peru would be swimming against the tide of transitional justice if it were to accept the theory that militaries can kidnap people without it being kidnapping. Many Latin American countries have already imprisoned their dictators, human rights abusers, and coup plotters on charges similar to those Fujimori is facing. It will be interesting to see to what extant Peru looks to cases in other countries in formulating the verdict in this case.

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