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Friday, 2 March, 2001, 16:14 GMT
Japan refuses to extradite Fujimori
former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori
Fujimori is charged with dereliction of duty
The Japanese Government has once again ruled out the extradition of the disgraced former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori, whom Peruvian authorities have charged with criminal abuse of power.

The government does not extradite those who commit no crimes in Japan

Japanese Justice Minister Masahiko Komura
The Japanese Justice Minister, Masahiko Komura, said the government in Tokyo did not extradite its own nationals or others who had not committed any crime on Japanese soil.

The announcement came shortly after a senior Peruvian congressman warned of serious consequences if Japan did not return the disgraced president to Lima to account for wrongdoing during his 10-year rule.

In a BBC interview, congressman David Waismanhe said that Japan's refusal to hand over Mr Fujimori could lead to an international dispute.

Mr Fujimori was formally charged earlier this week with non-performance and dereliction of duty, after fleeing to Tokyo last November to escape a corruption scandal.

The Supreme Court in Peru is expected to issue an arrest warrant for the former president shortly and Lima is said to be planning to send a special envoy to Japan to bring Mr Fujimori back to Peru.

In December, the Japanese government announced that Mr Fujimori - who enjoys dual Japanese and Peruvian citizenship - would be allowed to stay indefinitely in his ancestral homeland.

Japan and Peru have no extradition treaty.

Corruption allegations

Mr Fujimori arrived in Tokyo on a diplomatic visa and faxed his resignation from the presidency from Tokyo in November, following mounting accusations of government corruption involving his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Parliamentarians rejected the resignation and voted him out instead, declaring him morally unfit to remain in office.

Mr Fujimori denied any illicit involvement with the former intelligence chief during his 10 years in power.

He has refused to return to Peru to testify before a congressional commision.

Mr Montesinos faces charges which include corruption, embezzlement, illegal arms and drugs deals, money laundering and directing death squads.

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See also:

14 Feb 01 | Americas
Prosecutors close in on Fujimori
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
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