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Transparency International calls on Japanese government to extradite Fujimori

Impunity for corrupt public officials cannot be tolerated, says TI

The government of Japan should extradite Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori to face charges of corruption and human rights abuses, said Transparency International (TI) today together with Proética, its national chapter in Peru. "Impunity for corrupt public officials cannot be tolerated," said TI Chairman Peter Eigen. TI is the world's leading non-governmental organisation dedicated to fighting corruption and is active in 90 countries worldwide.

"Leaders who are guilty of abusing their power and stealing from their people must be brought to justice," continued Eigen. "The government of Japan will send a strong message in favour of transparent and accountable leadership by extraditing Fujimori and allowing for due process of law to take its course in Peru."

Fujimori fled to Japan in November 2000 in the wake of numerous corruption scandals, and he resigned the presidency via fax. Despite substantial evidence of Fujimori's involvement in corruption scandals and human rights violations during his 10-year rule, the government of Japan has to date refused to extradite the former leader on the grounds that he holds Japanese nationality. The Japanese authorities declined Interpol's request for Fujimori's arrest in March this year. Peruvian prosecutors filed a formal 700-page extradition request in Tokyo on 31 July in the hope of persuading Japan to hand him over to face trial.

Investigations in Peru have uncovered evidence that Fujimori and his adviser Vladimiro Montesinos Torres created a criminal organisation comprising hundreds of individuals. This network established itself in the highest spheres of power and was responsible for unprecedented looting of the resources of the Peruvian state, acts of corruption (including arms trafficking and the covering-up of drug trafficking), assassinations and serious human rights violations. At present, 1,400 alleged members of the criminal organisation led by Fujimori and Montesinos are under investigation, including a former Peruvian Attorney General, a former President of Congress and current members of the Congress, Supreme Court judges, bankers, media owners, and 14 generals of the armed forces.

US$207 million stolen from Peru has been frozen in various countries around the world, of which US$150 million has already been repatriated. Former President Fujimori faces nine separate legal proceedings in which he stands accused of 15 crimes, including the murder of university students, a teacher and several poor residents of a Lima neighbourhood.

TI national chapters around the world have embarked upon a letter-writing campaign calling on the Japanese government to extradite Fujimori. A copy of the letter is attached.


For any press enquiries please contact

Berlin:
Silke Pfeiffer
Regional Director for Latin America
TI Secretariat
Tel: +49-30-34382033
Email: press@transparency.org

Lima:
Jose Ugaz Sánchez-Moreno
President
Proética (TI Peru)
Tel: +511- 440 1915
Email: ugaz@proetica.org.pe

Tokyo:
Yukiko Miki, Executive Director
Information Clearinghouse Japan (TI Japan)
Tel: +81-3-52691846
Email: yukiko.miki@nifty.com