During the last two years of Alberto Fujimori’s criminal trial for human rights violations, many public figures have offered their opinions about his case, included among these are politicians, defenders of fundamental rights, and even judges. But now that the Supreme Court’s Transitory Criminal Court is about to decide if it annuls, modifies, or ratifies the 25 year sentence given to the former president, this blog has solicited the opinion of a journalist who specializes in judicial issues in Peru and in recent years has closely followed the former Peruvian president’s legal case.
Cesar Romero Calle, with more than 15 years informing about the different judicial events in his country, sustains that beyond the strictly legal procedures, the former president’s trial is always political.
“Alberto Fujimori always has had great defense plans: the legal and the political. I have the impression that upon starting the trials the legal strategy prevailed with an idea that the exposition in the public hearings would allow for the revitalizing of Fujimori’s image and his type of government. Nonetheless, the trial for the crimes of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta and the kidnapping of Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer instead made evident all the negative aspects of the regime that lead Peru from July 1990 through October 2000,” opined the journalist.
For this reason, Romero pointed out, Fujimori later accepted all the charges against him in the corruption trials in order to avoid more negative publicity.
“Today Fujimori and his followers are no longer interested in the legal outcome, except in the manner that it makes it more favorable for them. The political defense prevails and aims to present Fujimori as a victim of the judicial and prison systems, and rather attempts to gain his freedom through political measures like a presidential pardon,” indicated Romero for the blog Fujimori on Trial.
He added that in this context, the flaws of the trials against Fujimori are not found in the court that judged him, or in that which will review their sentences, or in the final verdict, but rather in the weak and disaccredited Judicial Power.
“Fujimori, thanks to his political alliance with President Alan Garcia, is going to attempt, and it seems to me that this is the road that they are on, to disaccredit the anti-corruption judicial system which is the source of the evidence used to sentence him,” Romero expressed.
He said that this would explain why precisely the same month that the Supreme Court reviews the sentence against Fujimori for human rights violations is when the Constitutional Court issues their ruling to shelve the file in the trial against General Walter Chacon Malagra, related to corruption activities during the former president’s government.
“Yet this isn’t everything. Furthermore, it is precisely this same month that a denunciation in Congress against the Judicial Power’s president, Javier Villa Stein, is presented and a presidential pardon is given to businessperson Jose Enrique Crousillat Lopez Torres, who illegally received thousands of dollars from the hands of former president Fujimori’s presidential aid, Vladimiro Montesinos,” Romero stressed.