Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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Peruvian Judicial Branch president: sentence against Fujimori is irreversible

January 6th, 2010 · No Comments


The Peruvian Judicial Branch president Javier Villa Stein emphatically and convincingly maintained that the last instance ruling against former president Alberto Fujimori, which ratifies his 25 year prison sentence for human rights violations, is irreversible and cannot be revised.

He stated that the only way that the trial against Fujimori be annulled and his innocence declared would be if the deceased victims for which the former head of State was condemned would be found alive.

Villa Stein’s reaction was very emphatic since the convict’s daughter, the congressperson Keiko Sofia Fujimori declared that the ruling that confirmed her father’s guilt would be annulled by the Constitutional Court and that, after this, he would be declared innocent in a new trial.

“A habeas corpus is going to be presented to the Constitutional Court to annul the judicial rulings against my father. He is not going to need any type of pardon since he will be acquitted in a new trial,” said the Peruvian congressperson.

“The ruling against the former president for me demonstrates the judges’ lack of objectivity and the wish that my father die in prison (…)  [This sentence] is practically a life sentence,” affirmed Keiko Fujimori.

For his part, defense attorney Cesar Nakazaki, employing idiomatic expressions indicating that the on-going aspects of the case, declared that “the case has not yet finished, there is much bread to be sliced and a war to be continued, so don’t bury Alberto Fujimori yet.”

The Response from the Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court president Juan Vergara Gotelli ruled out that his institution could be converted into an review body for the 25 year prison sentence given to Alberto Fujimori for crimes of aggravated homicide and aggravated kidnapping.

“The Constitutional Court is not a last instance judicial court. We are not going to decide anything that could make us into a higher level Judicial Branch,” indicated Vergara Gotelli.

He explained that Fujimori’s attorney Cesar Nakazaki has the right to present a habeas corpus or an appeal for legal protection (amparo) against the sentence issued by Judicial Branch’s last instance. And given this, the Constitutional Court’s only role would be to review if the trial respected due process and all Fujimori’s rights.

“If the conclusion is reached that his rights or due process were not respected, this Court could annul the ruling and order a new trial,” he added.

Nonetheless, he specified that a habeas corpus first should be presented to a first instance judge in the Judicial Branch, then be appealed in a higher criminal court and then, if rejected, will it arrive at the Constitutional Court.

Politicians and Human Rights Defenders

For her part, the president of the Popular Christian Party (Partido Popular Cristiano- PPC) and rumored presidential candidate, Lourdes Flores, considered it “ironic” that those who previously tried to destroy the Constitutional Court, today contemplate the possibility of turning to this body.

“I say that it is ironic (…) that those who would have destroyed constitutional justice, who threw out the Constitutional Court magistrates because they weren’t favorable, today want to turn to constitutional justice,” remarked Flores. She added, “That they learn the lesson so that they don’t ever again repeat it (…). I respect the Supreme Court ruling and I think it merits respect.”

At the same time, Amnesty International expressed that after 18 years of tireless struggle, the victims of human rights violations during the Alberto Fujimori government and their families finally have obtained justice.

“In their campaign to demand the right to truth, justice, and compensation, the victims’ family members faced not only the pain of the loss of their loved ones, but also many times were subject to harassment and attacks on their honor.”

Amnesty International, having accompanied and supported their efforts to bring to justice the persons responsible for grave human rights violations against their family members, heralds the integrity and courage of “these human rights defenders.”

Additionally, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Coordinator in Peru, Ronald Gamarra, stated, “The criminal trial against Alberto Fujimori ended and he was defeated in the trial. The sentence was given and ratified; that is to say, that there is a final end to the trial. The trial was to determine if Fujimori was responsible and the Judicial Branch has concluded that he was.”


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