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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fujimori's run for the Diet draws condemnation

Staff writer

Human rights activists and legal experts Wednesday slammed disgraced former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's bid to win a Diet seat in the July 29 House of Councilors election as a shameless attempt to elude justice.

Facing reporters near the Diet building, Kazuo Ohgushi, a professor in the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo, described Fujimori's candidacy as "an attempt to flee from justice being brought on himself."

"Mr. Fujimori must understand that he should set out for the Peruvian court and not for the Japanese Diet," the expert on Latin American politics said.

Peru has charged Fujimori, 68, with numerous crimes during his decade-long presidency to 2000, including bribery, illegal use of government funds and endorsing death squad killings.

Even though he is under house arrest in Chile, Fujimori announced his candidacy last month for the proportional representation segment of the Upper House election on the Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party) ticket.

Fujimori is waiting for Chile's Supreme Court to decide whether he should be extradited to Peru, where the allegations against him include involvement in the Barios Altos massacre of 1991, in which 15 civilians were reportedly mistaken for leftwing guerrillas and killed.

The Japan Network for Bringing Justice to Fujimori, which organized the news conference, asked the Japanese government to hand him over to Peru if he enters the country.

Kokumin Shinto was also hit by the human rights activists for interfering with Peru's effort to put Fujimori on trial.

"The international society will not bear a possible human rights violator to be free," said Makoto Teranaka, secretary general of Amnesty International Japan.

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The Japan Times

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