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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Fujimori snubs Peru truth inquiry
Alberto Fujimori
The commission is seeking answers from Fujimori

The exiled former President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, has refused to meet the head of the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who went to Tokyo to interview him.

Mr Fujimori described the inquiry as a "circus" and said it was trying to persecute him.


It would be ingenuous of me to take part in the circus the truth commission is staging with this trip to Japan

Alberto Fujimori
The former leader is refusing to go home to answer murder charges.

Mr Fujimori has been living quietly in Tokyo since the day he faxed home his resignation as president of Peru nearly two years ago.

The chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Salomon Lerner, came to Japan to interview Mr Fujimori about human rights abuses but he has been rebuffed.

He described Mr Fujimori's refusal as an insult to the 30,000 people who lost their lives during two decades of civil conflict.

Mr Lerner wanted to question the former leader about the murder of students and the disappearance of hundreds of others during his 10 years in power.

Commission 'political'

Mr Fujimori released a statement attacking the work of the commission, saying it was part of a game of repression against him.

Fujimori supporters in Peru
Fujimori can stay in Japan indefinitely

The Peruvian Government is asking for his extradition to answer charges of crimes against humanity but the Japanese authorities say the former president is also a Japanese citizen and he can stay for as long as he likes.

Mr Lerner said there was great ignorance in Japan about Mr Fujimori's term in office.

He expressed incomprehension at conservative Japanese politicians who look on the former leader as something of a folk hero.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Charles Scanlon
"It's nearly two years since Alberto Fujimori stopped over in Japan and faxed home his resignation"

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