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Fujimori Urged to Return to Peru

October 2, 2001

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LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Peru’s jailed ex-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos urged former President Alberto Fujimori in a taped interview broadcast late Monday to return from Japan and face justice.

``Mr. President Fujimori, I think the time has come for you to come to the country to answer for your acts,″ Montesinos said in his first interview since his arrest in June.

Fujimori has been exiled in his parents’ native Japan since November, when a corruption scandal involving Montesinos ended his 10-year authoritarian rule. He was granted Japanese citizenship shortly after his arrival.

``A responsible and brave boss should respond for what his subordinates have done, or let us do so, and not take refuge in Japan, protecting himself with Japanese nationality to elude Peruvian justice,″ Montesinos said.

Montesinos, Fujimori’s top adviser for a decade, is alleged to have run a network of corruption that permeated Peru’s government, the military and the media. He faces dozens of charges, ranging from extortion to arms smuggling.

Justice Minister Fernando Olivera accused Montesinos’s lawyer, Estela Valdivia, of having taped his comments secretly and then turning them over to the U.S.-based, Spanish-language television channel, Telemundo.

Fujimori has denied any wrongdoing but refuses to return to Peru, where he says he faces political persecution. So far he faces charges of abandonment of office, dereliction of duty and homicide in connection to two state-sponsored massacres in the early 1990s.

Japan and Peru have no extradition treaty, and Japanese law prohibits the extradition of its citizens to stand trial for crimes committed in other countries.

Montesinos’ statements were originally broadcast by Telemundo and then aired on Peru’s leading radio station, Radioprogramas.

Telemundo said Peruvian authorities denied an official request to interview Montesinos. Without specifying how or where, Telemundo said it had recorded the statements aired Monday.

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