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Fujimori says he gave Montesinos US$15 million to dissuade coup d’état

July 19th, 2009 · No Comments

(Supreme Court judges try former president, Alberto Fujimori in his third trial in Peru. Photo: Judicial Power.) 

In his current trial for paying US$15 million to his former intelligence advisor Vladimiro Montesinos, former president Alberto Fujimori presented his final arguments.  Fujimori claimed that this payment was made with public funds in order to prevent a coup d’état that Montesinos was planning.

Fujimori indicated that it was former minister Carlos Boloña that took the initiative to propose the sum to Montesinos as a way of deterring his plan to topple Peru’s democracy.

According to Fujimori, 41 days after the payment was made, the money was returned to the state treasury, which the former president claimed “was our objective from the beginning.”

“I found out that my former advisor was preparing a coup d’état and the day that the Kouri-Montesinos video [in which Montesinos was shown bribing Congressman Kouri] was made public, I was able to confirm his aims to develop his own support and a political project,” Fujimori told the court.

The former president said that he decided with his brother Santiago and daughter Keiko to depose Montesinos from his office and deactivate the National Intelligence Service (SIN) and call for general elections, in which he would not take part.

“From there, [Montesinos’] threats even impeded my entry to the Government Palace,” he said.

Fujimori further said that he then designed a strategy to neutralize any attempt of a coup along with a group of “loyal” military officials who had confirmed that there was a plan to overthrow his presidency.

Fujimori added that he paid Montesinos, who then fled to Panama where he sought asylum. But days later he received a call that Montesinos would return to Peru since his “life was in danger.”

Fujimori gave ordered for Montesinos to be taken to the SIN quarters once in Peru, where he would be “immobilized,” while an investigation was carried out.

“I entrusted this operation to General José Villanueva Ruesta, but he was on Montesinos’ side and ended up facilitating Montesinos’ escape from Pisco to Lima,” Fujimori said.

The former president said he decided to look for the former advisor along with police and military officials. During this operation they went to the SIN quarters and after an intense search, they managed to recuperate the $15 million.  “With the money recovered, the only thing that mattered to me was to return it, so I called Economy Minister Carlos Boloña, Defense Minister Carlos Bergamino and Alfredo Jalilie in order to begin the respective process immediately,” he told the court.

Fujimori’s arguments were presented over 30 minutes to the Supreme Court. This Monday, July 20 he will be sentenced for this case.

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