Saturday, September 22, 2007

In the hands of justice

Alberto Fujimori's "in the hands of justice," proclaims today's special edition of the Lima daily La República. Peru's former President arrived on an overnight flight, having been transported from Chile less than a day after a 5-judge chamber of Chile's Corte Suprema ruled that there is sufficient evidence of crime in 7 of the dozen events for which Peru had sought the Fujimori's extradition. In so doing, it overruled another Supreme Court judge's July ruling in favor of Fujimori, and credited instead the June recommendation in favor of extradition by Mónica Maldonado (left), the court's prosecutor. Among the cases now cleared for trial in Peru, the Santiago Times reported,
are two emblematic human rights abuse cases – the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres – which took place in 1991 and 1992 respectively. Twenty-five people, including a small child and a professor, were murdered in the two massacres. The killings are believed to have been carried out by an infamous, government-backed death squad known as the Colina Group. Prosecutors contend that Fujimori had direct knowledge of and may have even ordered the Group’s anti-subversion operations.
"From an international law standpoint," Helena Marambio of Amnesty International Chile said, the court found Fujimori "to be responsible for the character of his time in office. Let’s hope they continue to process him in Peru."
Meanwhile, Peru's Minister of Justice María Zavala (left) insisted at a press conference in Lima that the judges who will try the former President "must not be politicized."

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