BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

South America correspondent James Reynolds
"This may turn out to be academic - Fujimori is still in Japan"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 10:42 GMT
Prosecutors close in on Fujimori
former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori
Mr Fujimori denies charges of fraud and embezzlement
A congressional committee in Peru has voted to charge disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori with abandoning his post, bringing him one step nearer to losing parliamentary immunity from prosecution.

The move came after the attorney-general's office said it would press charges against Mr Fujimori for embezzlement and illicit enrichment during his 10 years in power.

Congress will first have to debate whether to lift Fujimori's immunity so that he can formally face the charges

Attorney-General's Office
The former president was sacked last November by congress, which said he was morally unfit to govern after he fled to Japan, where he remains, amid scandals over his fugitive spy chief.

If congress votes to lift Mr Fujimori's immunity, he could be banned from public office for a decade and may also face a two-year prison sentence.

Peruvian demonstrators
Protesters are demanding all videos be made public
But he has no apparent plans to return to Peru from Japan, and the two countries have no extradition treaty.

It also remains unclear whether congress, split between supporters and opponents of Mr Fujimori, will debate his case.

In January, the former president agreed to co-operate with the investigation, but has ruled out returning to Peru until his name has been cleared and his safety guaranteed.

Japan has declared Mr Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants to Peru, a Japanese national, allowing him to remain in the country indefinitely.


Peru's permanent congressional committee made its dramatic decision by a 13-8 majority, broadcast live on television.

The session included more videotaped evidence showing Mr Fujimori's intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, apparently plotting with a top election official to keep the president in power.

Mr Fujimori's downfall was precipitated by the release of a videotape showing Mr Montesinos allegedly bribing an opposition politician.

Mr Montesinos, meanwhile, has disappeared without trace.

former Peruvian spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos
Montesinos: Spy chief who went to ground
He is being investigated on charges ranging from running death squads to money laundering.

Amongst a range of alleged offences. Mr Fujimori is said to have diverted millions of dollars of state funds into secret overseas bank accounts.

"We are working on widening the charges to include ex-President Fujimori for all the charges that Montesinos also faces," said Jose Ugaz, the lawyer investigating the shadowy aide.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

12 Feb 01 | Americas
More videos set to shock Peru
07 Feb 01 | Americas
New bribe claim in Peru election
27 Jan 01 | Americas
Peru shocked by 'Vladi video' theft
21 Jan 01 | Americas
Montesinos relatives arrested
14 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Fujimori agrees to questioning
28 Dec 00 | Americas
Peru hunts fugitive via internet
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories