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Fujimori Bars Job Appeals by Fired Judges

<i> From Reuters</i>

President Alberto Fujimori tightened his grip on Peru’s judiciary Tuesday by barring scores of fired judges and prosecutors from appealing their dismissals.

The move appeared to be another step toward consolidating Fujimori’s virtual one-man rule.

Fujimori dissolved Congress and suspended parts of Peru’s constitution with military backing April 5 in a move that many Peruvians said amounted to a coup.

Since then, he has dismissed about 150 judges and state prosecutors in what he called a reorganization plan aimed at rooting out corruption.

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He issued a decree Tuesday that barred the fired magistrates and prosecutors from filing appeals against their dismissals when the courts--closed temporarily by Fujimori in his April 5 crackdown--reopen this week.

“It removes the judges’ constitutional right to appeal,” said Javier Valle Riestra, a legal expert and member of the disbanded Peruvian Congress.

Fujimori, elected president by a wide margin in 1990, has ruled almost entirely through decrees signed by him and his Cabinet since assuming sweeping powers.

His hard line on Peru’s Congress and the courts has won strong support from the Peruvian public, which has long viewed both institutions as cesspools of corruption, patronage and waste.

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Judges have often been accused of freeing guerrilla suspects, drug traffickers and common criminals in exchange for bribes or in the face of threats.


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