Peru Charges Fujimori With Abandoning Office

From Reuters

The Peruvian Congress charged ex-President Alberto Fujimori on Friday with dereliction of duty and disqualified him from public office for 10 years, opening the way for a criminal trial, lawmakers said.

“Of course this paves the way to a criminal trial,” said Daniel Estrada, who headed a congressional commission pressing for constitutional charges against Fujimori.

Congress voted 37 to 24, with four abstentions, to charge Fujimori with abandoning office and dereliction of duty.


Because Fujimori was once president, any criminal charges must begin in Congress. Now that Congress has approved the charges, Fujimori loses the five years of immunity enjoyed by ex-presidents, and a criminal prosecutor takes over.

Estrada said he expected the case to go to a state attorney for a criminal trial proceedings to begin “in five days at the most.”

Fujimori was fired in November as “morally unfit” to rule after he fled to Japan to escape a spiraling corruption crisis sparked by his fugitive ex-spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Montesinos is on the run from a string of charges including corruption, illicit drug and arms deals and ordering death squads. Jose Ugaz, the state attorney investigating the ex-spy chief, says the case should be extended to include Fujimori.

Ugaz has said it is inconceivable that Fujimori was unaware of what Montesinos was up to during a decade in power. The ex-spymaster allegedly ran a network of corruption penetrating Peru’s courts, Congress, military and media.

The attorney general’s office said last week that it wanted to press charges of embezzlement and misuse of public funds against Fujimori, who denies the allegations.


Fujimori remains in Japan, protected by his dual Peruvian and Japanese citizenship and shielded from automatically being sent home to face trial by the fact that the two countries have no extradition treaty.

Japan has made clear that it has no plans to hand him over any time soon, but legal experts said Peru could pursue other avenues to try to secure his extradition.