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The BBC's Claire Marshall
"Mr Montesinos now faces a range of charges"
 real 56k

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, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Fugitive spy chief back in Peru
Vladimiro Montesinos at Lima airport
Montesinos (centre) arrived in Lima under close guard
Peru's most wanted man, spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, arrived under police arrest in Lima on Monday to face trial after eight months on the run.

The 56-year-old was immediately put on board a helicopter that was expected to take him to a top security military jail at Lima's naval base.

Peru's scandal
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 balding Mr Montesinos, who was wearing a beige jacket and jeans, was shown on live television being escorted by police off the plane.

His wrists were covered by a blanket and appeared to be handcuffed.

Mr Montesinos was arrested in the Venezuelan capital Caracas at the weekend.

He faces a long list of charges arising from his 10 years as the right-hand man of the disgraced former president, Alberto Fujimori.

Mr Montesinos allegedly bankrolled Peru's courts, Congress, media and military for a decade, and is accused of accumulating an illicit fortune of at least $264 million.

His fall last year led to the toppling of President Fujimori.

He faces charges ranging from embezzlement to ordering death squads and could face life imprisonment.

Montesinos fled Peru by sea and land

The BBC's Claire Marshall, in Lima, says the news of his return has raised concern among many of his former associates, fearful of what he may now reveal.

Earlier, the Peruvian president-elect, Alejandro Toledo, said the arrest could improve the chances of extraditing Mr Fujimori from Japan.

But the Japanese Government has already indicated it will not change its position on Mr Fujimori, who is protected from extradition because he has Japanese nationality.


Few details have been released about his capture, although the Venezuelan authorities said four previous attempts had failed after people guarding Mr Montesinos appeared to receive a tip-off.

Venezuela's interior minister, Luis Miquilena, said an investigation was underway to see if corrupt Venezuelan police had been protecting Mr Montesinos.

Mr Miquilena said Mr Montesinos was captured alongside two Venezuelans and without documents. He had a lot of money with him, the minister said.

Political crisis

For his part, Mr Fujimori has said 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 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.

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'
25 Jun 01 | Americas
Montesinos timeline
25 Jun 01 | Media reports
Peruvian press hail 'stupendous' arrest
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