[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Spanish
Brasil
Caribbean
Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 02:02 GMT
Japan 'won't extradite Fujimori'
Alberto Fujimori
Mr Fujimori is the son of Japanese immigrants to Peru
Japan has no plans to extradite Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru, to his home country to face charges, Tokyo has said.

The international law enforcement agency Interpol passed a Peruvian request that Mr Fujimori be arrested to Japan at the weekend.

Peru is seeking to prosecute Mr Fujimori on murder, kidnapping and embezzlement charges.

Mr Fujimori, who is of Japanese extraction, fled to Japan in November 2000 amid a corruption and bribery scandal, and took Japanese citizenship shortly afterwards.

Under Japanese law, the country does not extradite its citizens. Neither does it have an extradition treaty with Peru.

"We have absolutely no plan to take any sort of action against Mr Fujimori at this moment," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima said.

He said the ministry could not confirm it had received the Interpol request.

Mr Fujimori is seen as a hero in Japan for his role in freeing hostages held at the Japanese embassy in Lima six years ago.

But the BBC's Latin America correspondent Peter Greste says Tokyo will be under considerable pressure to hand Mr Fujimori over.

Massacres

The former president refused to meet the head of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is probing atrocities committed during his decade in office, when he came to Tokyo to interview him.

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

Commission chairman Salomon Lerner countered by saying that Mr Fujimori's refusal to meet him was an insult to the 30,000 people who had lost their lives during 20 years of civil conflict.

Charges against the ex-president relate to:

  • A 1991 massacre in which an army "death squad" allegedly killed 15 people at a barbecue in a poor Lima neighbourhood

  • A 1992 massacre in which nine students and a professor with suspected leftist links were killed

Peruvian Justice Minister Fausto Alvarado said that Interpol had communicated Lima's request for Mr Fujimori on Saturday.

He said it should be enforceable anywhere in the world because the charges of homicide, injuries and kidnapping it featured amounted to crimes against humanity.

Germany, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain and other countries recently said they would detain Mr Fujimori if he attempted to enter their territories.

Peru said last week it would formally ask Japan for Mr Fujimori's extradition by June or July.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Peter Greste
"These allegations relate to the murder of 15 suspected militants"



SEE ALSO:
Fujimori snubs Peru truth inquiry
10 Sep 02 |  Americas
Peru lifts lid on corruption
13 Jun 01 |  Americas
Fujimori's controversial career
18 Sep 00 |  Americas
Analysis: Peru confronts the past
10 Apr 02 |  Americas
Timeline: Peru
04 Jan 03 |  Americas


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


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific