Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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Prominent lawyer says public prosecutor seems to have taken Fujimori’s side

November 17th, 2009 · No Comments

 (Carlos Rivera Paz at Fujimori’s human rights trial. Photo: Praxis)

 

Carlos Rivera Paz, lawyer at the Institute of Legal Defense (IDL) and one of the most tenacious legal adversaries of former president Alberto Fujimori, warned that Public Prosecutor Pablo Sánchez seems to have taken the side of the defendant.  Rivera claims that Sánchez is trying to exempt Fujimori of aggravated kidnapping, which would result in certain prison benefits and clear the path for a presidential pardon.

Journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer, two of the victims included in Fujimori’s human rights trial, were both unlawfully arrested in 1992 and held in army quarters.  Public Prosecutor José Peláez Bardales, representing the Peruvian state in Fujimori’s trial, firmly asserted that aggravated — not simple — kidnapping was committed. Thus Rivera claimed it was incoherent for Public Prosecutor Sánchez to contradict Peláez so blatantly. 

“Public Prosecutor José Peláez Bardales accused Fujimori of murder, grave damages and aggravated kidnapping, and after over a year of trial, the Supreme Court’s Special Criminal Court condemned the former president to 25 years in prison for those crimes.  Now that the defendant has appealed that sentence, Pablo Sánchez has gone against the position of his colleague Peláez Bardales and has said that the former president did not commit aggravated kidnapping…how is that supposed to be understood?” asked Rivera.

The lawyer explained that the Transitory Criminal Court of the Supreme Court will take a final decision on this issue when the appeal presented by Fujimori is resolved.  If the charge of aggravated kidnapping against Fujimori is removed, Rivera says that the former president would be entitled to penitentiary benefits and could also be released from prison long before the 25-year sentence is complete.

“If the charges for aggravated kidnapping and crimes against humanity are both removed, then Fujimori’s 25-year prison sentence could be greatly reduced and he could receive a presidential pardon.  On the other hand, if these charges are upheld, then he would not be eligible for pardon or penitentiary benefits,” Rivera added.

The hearing for the appeal, set to begin on Nov. 23, will take place in the judicial quarters within the police’s Special Operations Office in Ate Viarte, on the outskirts of Lima. Afterward, the court will have a month to make its final decision.

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