Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

  • Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States

    Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

Americas

Fujimori sentencing on rights abuses imminent

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Latest update : 2009-04-07

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori will receive his verdict on Tuesday following a trial for alleged human rights abuses and "dirty war" strategies against guerillas during his term. He faces a possible 30 years in prison.

AFP - Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, whose long trial on rights abuses is to end with a verdict Tuesday, retains the strong will that cut a swath through opponents and obstacles during his decade in power.
  
That unshakeable faith in himself, coupled with a calculating nature that underpinned his previous career as a mathematics professor, helped propel him into Peru's top job in 1990 against his main rival, renowned novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
  
Once head of state, Fujimori showed himself to be a gifted strategist capable of complicated and ruthless plays -- qualities that brought success in the main challenges faced by his government.
  
The man known nationally as "The Chinaman" because of his Asian features (in fact Japanese, from his immigrant parents), proved an unremitting foe to Shining Path and Tupac Amaru rebels active in rural areas, and to the morose economy that he turned around with neo-liberal policies.
  
It was his fight against the rebels that brought him early international recognition.
  
One of the key moments of Fujimori's presidency was during a four-month hostage ordeal at the Japanese embassy in Lima that started in December 1996.
  
Tupac Amaru guerrillas staged a spectacular invasion of the mission, seizing 400 diplomats and VIPs having a party. They released all but 72 who were held as bargaining chips for the release of imprisoned rebel comrades.
  
Commandos ended up raiding the embassy in April 1997 and killed all the insurgents. Fujimori, filmed walking amid the aftermath, deepened his reputation for fighting terrorism with a firm hand.
  
But his trial turned the light on illegal "dirty war" tactics he allegedly also pursued.
  
He is accused of permitting the actions of an army death squad that killed suspected guerrillas and sympathizers. Prosecutors argued that he was aware of the human rights violations carried out by the squad, which killed 25 people in 1991 and 1992.
  
Fujimori has denied being aware of the crimes before they were carried out.
  
In the end, his political downfall came in 2000.
  
His security chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, was exposed in a video broadcast on television apparently buying off an opposition lawmaker. The ensuing scandal forced Fujimori to announce new elections in which he would not take part.
  
In November, Fujimori fled to Japan from Brunei and sent a fax from Tokyo announcing his resignation. Congress refused to accept it and instead voted to sack him and ban him from public office for 10 years.
  
In 2005, Fujimori, who was trying to keep involved in Peruvian politics while in Japanese exile, flew to Chile on a private jet. On arrival, he was arrested and Peru demanded his extradition. Chile ended up granting it in September 2007.
  
During the trial, which started in December 2007, poor health dogged the former president, slowing proceedings. He was treated for hypertension and cancers, among other problems.
  
Fujimori, 70, is remarried after a bitter divorce. His daughter Keiko enjoys her own political career in Peru, and remains deeply loyal to him.
  

Date created : 2009-04-06

COMMENT(S)