February 27, 2008
Carlos Rivera, one of the lawyers for the victims’ families, confirmed the existence of an alliance between the defense of Alberto Fujimori and Santiago Martin Rivas, who denied today the existence of the Colina death squad as well as the executions committed.
Martin Rivas’ testimony was contradictory as he denied the existence of the Colina group though he told all about the organization in his interview with Umberto Jara in 2002, even mentioning that its head was Alberto Fujimori. Former ad-hoc attorney José Ugaz asserted that there are many other testimonies confirming the existence of this group and that the Criminal Court should annul the testimonies of Martin Rivas and Carlos Pichilingüe, who also denied the group’s existence.
Martin Rivas confirmed that the video where he appears confessing Fujimori’s complicity was just a rehearsal for what he would testify in a later hearing. Umberto Jara has accused César Nakazaki of directing these declarations.
Martin Rivas said that the Colina group is an invention to discredit the armed forces. He confirmed that the documents presented regarding his involvement in the group are all false and that there was never a plan of operations denominated “Sipango.”
Eduardo Vega of the state Ombudsman visited Fujimori’s prison cell yesterday and confirmed that the conditions are adequate and that the former president has five large bedrooms at his disposition.
State prosecutor José Peláez Bardales confirmed that the ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori should receive a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for having ordered the kidnap of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer.
February 26, 2008
Ombudsman representative, Eduardo Vega confirmed that Alberto Fujimori’s prison conditions are adequate and that visiting and patio hours are respected. According to Beatriz Merino, Fujimori’s defense should request for the Special Court of the Supreme Court to determine his condition, so that there are no discrepancies between the Institute of Legal Medicine the doctors from the state hospital.
The testimony of military official Aquilino Portella in the hearing on Monday, Feb. 25 revealed the high level of army participation in crimes like La Cantuta. Carlos Rivera, one of the lawyers for the victims, said that testimony such as that given by Carlos Pichilingüe is an attempt to back the former president’s trial strategy.
State prosecutor José Antonio Peláez indicated that Fujimori should be found responsible for the kidnap of Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer, for which he would be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Additionally, Peláez denied that the state prosecution had bribed former Colina group members and accused Carlos Pichilingüe of lying in order to protect his own interests.
Military official Aquilino Portella confirmed that the La Cantuta murder was ordered by a high military officer and carried out by an intelligence special operations team, commanded by Martin Rivas. Portella’s reports were not listened to and he claimed that the army paid him US$20,000 to travel to Japan and keep silent. He has received threats and suffered attacks. Most likely on Wednesday Martin Rivas will deny all of this.
Weekend Update: Feb. 23-24
Journalist Umberto Jara indicated that “the most transparent thing” would be for the Special Criminal Court to examine all members of the Colina group before summoning him to testify. Jara’s statement comes as a clear response to Carlos Pichilingüe’s claim that the journalist offered him US$250,000 to incriminate former president, Alberto Fujimori.
Wilfredo Pedraza, former head of the National Penitentiary Institute, said that the classification of “maximum security” responds to the security of the former president, not the danger that he presents to society.
Justice Minister Rosario Fernández said that Fujimori supporters should be more responsible in their statements since “they are misinforming the public on the legal situation of Alberto Fujimori.”
Journalist Umberto Jara rejected the accusation made by Carlos Pichilingüe, who claimed that Jara offered him US$250,000 to incriminate former president, Alberto Fujimori.
European Union Ambassadors requested that European observers be allowed to attend the trial against former president Alberto Fujimori.
Kenji Fujimori assures that the doctors looking after his father’s health have made an incorrect evaluation and holds the government responsible for any harm to his health.