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The BBC's James Reynolds
"After months of wild stories and false leads, Vladimiro Montesinos has been caught"
 real 56k

The BBC's Mariusa Reyes in Caracas
"It's believed he has been in Venezuela all along"
 real 28k

The BBC's Claire Marshall in Peru
"Mr Montesinos was arrested late on Saturday"
 real 28k

Latin American Analyist, John Crabtree
"The pressure for Fujimori's extradition to Peru increases as a result of Montesino's capture"
 real 56k

Monday, 25 June, 2001, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Peru gets most wanted fugitive
Vladimiro Montesinos
Montesinos had been on the run since last October
Latin America's most wanted fugitive, the former Peruvian spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, is on his way home to face trial.

He is being flown on a Peruvian military aircraft back to Lima after being handed over to the Peruvian authorities in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

Timeline
14 Sept 2000: Video of Montesinos 'bribing politicians' emerges
16 Sept: Fujimori offers to resign and disband security services. Rumours of army coup
23 Sept: Montesinos flees Peru
23 Oct: Asylum refused in Panama. Montesinos returns to Peru
25 Oct: Fujimori leads search for Montesinos
29 Oct: Montesinos escapes from Peru, ends up in hiding in Venezuela
17-20 Nov: Fujimori goes to Japan after foreign trip. Faxes resignation and Congress deposes him
The ex-aide of disgraced former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was captured in Venezuela on Saturday after eight months on the run.

He has been charged with money laundering, arms trafficking, extortion, being involved in the activities of death squads and amassing a personal fortune of more than $260m through corruption.

Peru's Interior Minister, Antonio Ketin Vidal, who had travelled to Venezuela to collect Mr Montesinos, said the former intelligence supremo would stand trial in Peru.

"We have received him in good physical health," he added.

Apparently contradicting the report that Mr Montesinos had undergone plastic surgery in Caracas to disguise himself, Mr Ketin Vidal said the fugitive had "very similar physical characteristics to the ones that we all know".

It has not yet been announced how he came to be captured.

Fujimori question

Map
Montesinos fled Peru by sea and land
The President-elect of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, has said that the capture of Mr Montesinos could improve the chances of extraditing Mr Fujimori, who fled to Japan last year amid a corruption scandal.

However, the BBC's South America correspondent says that although the Japanese Government is embarrassed by Mr Fujimori's presence, there is little impetus to extradite him.

For his part, Mr Fujimori says he is staying put in Japan for the foreseeable future. He claims he would not receive a fair trial in Peru.

Mr Montesinos became Latin America's most wanted man after fleeing Peru last October, after triggering a political crisis that toppled Mr Fujimori.

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori
Former president Fujimori launched a manhunt for Mr Montesinos
The intelligence adviser had allegedly bankrolled Peru's Congress, courts, military and media in exchange for favours during Mr Fujimori's decade-long presidency.

The shadowy spy-chief went on the run after a video emerged of him apparently bribing opposition members of Congress.

Senior Venezuelan officials had previously admitted there was evidence that Montesinos had been in Caracas for plastic surgery in December.

But the Venezuelan Government has not yet given details about how he was captured, or how long he has been hiding in Venezuela.

Peru had offered a $5m reward for his capture.

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See also:

26 Oct 00 | Americas
Hunt for Peru spy chief
27 Jan 01 | Americas
Peru shocked by 'Vladi video' theft
14 Dec 00 | Americas
Missing spy chief 'has fled Peru'
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