April 7, 2009
161st session. After 160 sessions, which were sometimes interrupted on account of former president Alberto Fujimori’s health, the sentence was issued for this human rights trial. In this trial, Fujimori has been accused by the Public Prosecutor’s Office as having command responsibility in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres as well as in the kidnapping of Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer.
I. The sentence
Fujimori had command responsibility:
The Special Court of the Supreme Court of Justice, composed of judges César San Martín, Víctor Prado and Hugo Príncipe, unanimously condemned Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison, determining that he had command responsibility for:
1) Aggravated homicide against the victims that died in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta killings.
2) Aggravated battery of four victims of the Barrios Altos killings.
3) Aggravated kidnapping (kidnapping with cruel treatment) of journalist Gustavo Gorriti Ellenbogen and businessman Samuel Dyer Ampudia.
These offenses, as established in the Peruvian Penal Code and the International Penal Law, are crimes against humanity.
The Court announced that this sentence was the work of a team of over 20 people that have analyzed and evaluated each argument, testimony and piece of evidence presented since Dec. 10, 2007, when the trial started.
The Court further stated that the implementation of the counter-subversive strategy counted on the decisive participation of former presidential advisor Vladimiro Montesinos as well as the former Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos. Hermoza is legally represented by Attorney César Nakazaki, the same lawyer that represents Fujimori.
Prison term calculation
According to Peruvian legislation, the following time periods must be discounted from the prison term established by the sentence:
· Nov. 7, 2005, when the request to extradite Fujimori from Chile was made, until June 18, 2006 when he was released on bail; thus 7 months must be considered completed
· Subsequently, from Sept. 22, 2007 to date, while he has under the authority of the Peruvian Judicial Power
· The 25-year sentence will finish on Feb. 10, 2032.
Reparations for damages:
The Court also established that immaterial damages must be paid by Fujimori himself, which will help cover the legal costs incurred since the time the damage was produced. To the survivors of the Barrios Altos massacre Fujimori must pat 62,400 Peruvian new soles (around US$20,800), which must be divided proportionally among them. These victims include: Natividad Condorcahuana Chicaña, Felipe León León, Tomás Livias Ortega and Alfonso Rodas Alvitres.
Fujimori must also pay $20,000 to the legal heirs of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta victims. To journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer, Fujimori must pay 46,800 Peruvian new soles (around US$15,600) to each.
Victims were not involved in terrorist activity
The Court indicated in the sentence that none of the 29 victims of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres had any links to the terrorist activity of subversive organization Shining Path, nor did they form part of this group.
Charges made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office
For aggravated kidnapping of journalist Gustavo Gorriti: Alberto Pinto Cárdenas, former head of the Army Intelligence Service (SIE); Vladimiro Montesinos, former presidential advisor; Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos, former chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces,
For perjury: Hermoza Ríos for the crime of aggravated rebellion against the State and Willy Alberto Chirinos Chirinos, former director of the Army Intelligence Office (DINTE).
II. Outside the courtroom
Next trial against Fujimori
The Court has announced that the following trial against Fujimori is for the case of the $15 million severance pay given to Vladimiro Montesinos. The trial will begin on May 11 this year.
Reactions of the prosecution and defense:
Fujimori’s defense: As advised by his lawyer, Fujimori made an appeal for annulment.
Public Prosecutor: Expressed acceptance of the sentence.