Peru Says Interpol Orders Capture of Fujimori

Reuters -- 8 March 2003

LIMA, Peru - The world-wide police authority Interpol has issued an international arrest order for former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (news - web sites) on charges of murder in connection with a 1991 massacre of 15 people, Justice Minister Fausto Alvarado said on Saturday.

The order was issued after Peru's Supreme Court this week sent information to the Interpol office in Lyon, France to back its request for Fujimori's detention.

"Interpol's main office in Lyon has put out the arrest order with the goal of extraditing Alberto Fujimori. (The order) will be issued worldwide for human rights crimes for which he can be pursued and which do not expire," Alvarado told Radio Programas del Peru.

The charges include murder, kidnapping and crimes against humanity, Alvarado said.

Fujimori, who ruled Peru for 10 years, fled to Japan in November 2000 in the midst of a corruption scandal that broke when a video surfaced showing his top aide, Vladimiro Montesinos, giving a congressman a $15,000 bribe.

Foreign Minister Allan Wagner said this week that Interpol had asked Peru to provide additional information on the charges against Fujimori, which stem from the 1991 murder of 15 people at a barbecue in a poor Lima neighborhood. The killings were carried out by an army death squad. The victims included an 8-year-old boy.

"(The arrest order) was secured after the judiciary (Supreme Court) sent the information to the Interpol," Alvarado said.

The government of President Alejandro Toledo is in the process of preparing an extradition request that will be sent to the Japanese government. Wagner has said the request should be ready in June or July.

Peru and Japan do not have an extradition treaty. Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants, is a Japanese citizen because his parents registered him with consular authorities as an infant.

Fujimori is also accused of murder in a 1992 massacre in which nine students and a professor, suspected members of the Shining Path guerrillas, were murdered by the same army death squad.

The death squad was allegedly formed by Montesinos, who is detained in a Lima naval base and faces dozens of charges that include embezzlement to drug trafficking to murder.