Peru Requests Extradition of Fujimori

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Thursday, August 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On June 14, 2002, a supreme resolution published in the official gazette and signed by Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo approved a formal request to extradite former President Alberto Fujimori from Japan on murder charges. The Peruvian official gazette carried a resolution signed by President Toledo, in which the Peruvian Government cited international law as a basis for the extradition. The resolution apparently cited international law as requiring extradition for basis human rights crimes, insofar as the two countries do not have an extradition treaty. In November 2000 Fujimori fled to Tokyo. The extradition apparently relates to two massacres by an army death squad in the early 1990s as well as corruption charges. In particular, charges have been laid against Fujimori for allegedly sanctioning two massacres of supposed guerrilla sympathizers by a paramilitary death squad in 1991 and 1992. One of charges is for executing three rebels who were members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement immediately after the 1997 hostage rescue of the Japanese embassy in Lima. Former hostages testified that they saw three of the rebels alive after the 1997 hostage rescue. The Peruvian Government had said the commandos died in a gun battle during the rescue. The Peruvian Government is planning to show that Fujimori ordered the executions and hence can be accused of a crime against humanity, a universal crime that Japan would have to address, even though Japan recognizes Mr. Fujimori as a Japanese national because his parents were Japanese. The influence of Mr. Fujimori in Japan has also made the Japanese Government opposed to either his extradition or prosecution.