April 3, 2009
160th session. Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) continued presenting arguments in his own defense for the second and final day. He only briefly mentioned the kidnappings of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer. Fujimori also said that only he is the only former president that has been persecuted for excesses in counter-subversive policy.
The Court trying Fujimori announced that in the next trial session the sentence will be read, reiterating that the decision would be strictly legal.
I. Fujimori’s arguments
Fujimori began with his defense argument:
There is no proof
Fujimori insisted that in over 150 sessions, his accusers have not presented proof that incriminates him. He presented himself as a pragmatic man, based on math and logic. According to Fujimori, the accusations made against him are only based on “hate and vengeance.” He also claimed that the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyers for the victims’ families had acted against him “in bad faith.” He also said that the arguments against him were “grotesque and ludicrous” and that they had “nothing legal.” Continuing with his reasoning, he asked: “Where is the order that Fujimori created the Colina group? Where is the proof that a dirty war was applied? Where is the proof that the ‘Chino’ [Fujimori] is a murderer?”
Justification for 1992 coup d’état
Fujimori justified the coup d’état he led on April 5, 1992: “April 5th was a historic date, an exception, but absolutely unpostponable and changed the history of Peru.”
The Peruvian Judicial Power has already sentenced various former ministers from that regime for the crime.
Gorriti’s kidnapping, Montesinos’ revenge
Regarding the kidnapping of journalist Gustavo Gorriti, Fujimori said: “I did not give the order for his arrest or kidnap…I never treated him cruelly.” He also reminded that Gorriti himself said his arrest was due to vengeance taken by former presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos.
Dyer’s kidnapping, a tax issue
Fujimori concisely indicated that businessman Samuel Dyer was detained due to a tax issue. However, when Dyer testified in this trial on Jan. 11, 2008 and asked Fujimori why he had been publicly accused of being a drug-trafficker, terrorist and tax evader, the former president responded that this was due to a campaign headed by the SUNAT (National Tax Superintendence) in order to raise tax awareness.
Why others are not condemned
In his own defense, Fujimori also asked why he was brought to trial while other former leaders such as Fernando Belaunde (1980-1985) and Alan García (1985-1990 and 2006 to present) had not been tried for “excesses committed during their governments,” including Putis and Cayara.
“Fujimorismo” is his legacy
Fujimori also took the opportunity to reiterate, as he did last session, his support for his daughter Keiko, who is the pro-Fujimori candidate for the next presidential elections in 2011. “Fujimori was the best and they keep supporting me despite the whole media campaign against me during the past years and give majority support to my daughter Keiko.”
II. Outside the courtroom
Next criminal trial for corruption:
The Court stated that on May 11 the third trial would begin against Fujimori for the case of the US$15 million payment given to former presidential advisor Vladimiro Montesinos as compensation for services. The first trial Fujimori faced was for abuse of power, for which he was convicted to six years in prison. The second trial is for human rights violations.
In the third trial the lawyers for the victims’ families will not participate. Rather the ad hoc public prosecution committee for the Montesinos and Fujimori case, represented by lawyer Pedro Gamarra Johnson, will participate in this trial.
III. Next session
The next trial session will be held on Monday, April 7, when the Court will read the sentence for this human rights trial, according to what is established in Article 279 of the Peruvian Criminal Procedures Code. The Code indicates that the sentence must be read within five days after the arguments presented by the prosecution and defense.
The Court insisted that the sentence issued would be strictly legal. Court President César San Martín, stated: “This is a legal trial. From now on the ball will exclusively be in [the judges’] court and we assume the responsibility that corresponds to us in order to resolve [this case] with absolute respect for the law, without pressure. We will issue the sentence that we believe just, despite whoever likes it, despite whoever disagrees. It is our obligation and the Supreme Court of Justice of Peru will comply with it.”
In the same way, the Court established that for the reading of the sentence only the family members (of the victims and of Fujimori) and journalists will enter the courtroom. Other observers will be able to listen to the sentence in the second, auxiliary room.
Finally, the Court stated that the sentence will not be read entirely, but rather only a summary: “Due to the characteristics of a trial like this, in which the evidence has been particularly abundant and difficult, it is clear that the verdict and the sentence will be particularly extensive. Reading it in full would require, according to our forensic experience, many hours.”