Peru petitions Japan for Fujimori

Peru on Thursday formally asked Japan to extradite its former president, Alberto Fujimori, to face criminal charges including murder and kidnapping.

    Fujimori accuses rivals of trying to settle scores with him

    Peru’s ambassador to Japan, Luis Machiavello handed over a 700-page extradition request to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, but officials in Tokyo said a decision would be taken only later in accordance with domestic laws.

    The present government in Peru accuses Fujimori, who fled to Japan in November 2000 after a ten year-long iron-fisted rule, of serious violations against human rights.

    He faces allegations of murder, kidnapping and inflicting grievous wounds, charges that Fujimori denies.

    But considered a Japanese citizen since his parents registered him with consular authorities as an infant, Fujimori’s extradition is unlikely to be easy.

    Since Japan has no extradition treaty with Peru, its Chief Cabinet Secretary did not seem very keen on the extradition.

    “The final decision will be made by the justice minister, but in general, when a fugitive criminal has Japanese citizenship, we do not extradite,” Yasuo Fukuda said.

    Peru Pressures

    But Peru expects Japan to make an exception because of the nature of the charges.

    Its Foreign Ministry in a statement urged for speedy extradition of Fujimori.

    “The courts ask for the extradition of a Peruvian citizen who has exercised continuously and publicly his Peruvian nationality,” the statement said.

    If Japan does not extradite, Peruvian prosecutors have threatened to take the case to the International court of Justice in The Hague.

    "The courts ask for the extradition of a Peruvian citizen who has exercised continuously and publicly his Peruvian nationality''

    Peru's Foreign Ministry

    But notwithstanding the diplomatic wrangling over his fate, Fujimori enjoys celebrity status in Japan and lives comfortably in an upscale Tokyo neighbourhood.

    He denies the slew of charges slapped against him and says they are politically motivated.

    The murder charges against him stem from two massacres during his war on the Maoist rebel group, the Shining Path.

    Peruvian prosecutors accuse Fujimori of authorizing a military death squad to kill 15 suspected leftist guerrillas in 1991 and nine students and a professor at the La Centuta University in 1992.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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