Peru may investigate Fujimori

LIMA, Peru, AP

An investigator appointed to look into the operations of Peru’s former spy chief has expanded his probe and asked the attorney general’s office to launch a criminal investigation of ex-president Alberto Fujimori for possible corruption.

Jose Ugaz — whom Fujimori himself appointed to investigate former top spy Vladimiro Montesinos — said Friday that he filed a request for a preliminary investigation of Fujimori for “supposed crimes against public administration.”

Ugaz denied radio and newspaper reports that he had filed a criminal complaint.

Earlier, Attorney General Nelly Calderon’s spokesman confirmed that a complaint against Fujimori for corruption of public officials had been filed by Ugaz on Thursday and said a prosecutor would be assigned to the case.

“We have requested in generic terms that an investigation be opened for supposed crimes against public administration,” Ugaz told foreign correspondents.

He said the request covered a range of possible crimes, including money laundering, corruption of public officials and illicit enrichment.

Fujimori, 62, is living in self-imposed exile in Japan, which has no extradition treaty with Peru.

The investigation request came amid allegations that Fujimori ordered one of his legal aides to pose as a prosecutor and authorize police to carry out a Nov. 7 raid at Montesinos’ apartment.

Dozens of suitcases and boxes — stuffed with documents, videotapes and other evidence — were taken from the apartment and delivered to the Government Palace, instead of to judicial authorities.

During the raid, Fujimori sped out of the palace with a six-vehicle escort, pursued by reporters; he first went to a beach-side army installation and then a naval officers club north of Lima.

At the time, news reports said he was searching for Montesinos, widely thought to be protected by allies within the military. Fujimori later said he had gone to “breathe ocean air.”

Some have speculated the late-night ride was a diversion while police recovered incriminating evidence that Montesinos was rumored to be holding over the former president’s head.

National Police Gen. Federico Hurtado, accused of abuse of authority, testified Thursday in a military court that Fujimori confronted him with the phony prosecutor and ordered that the raid be carried out.

“President Fujimori plotted the entire operation, which I consider perverse,” Hurtado told reporters Friday. “All of us who participated in the operation were vilely tricked.”

Ugaz said his investigators received an anonymous tip that Fujimori had met with lawyers in Singapore last week on his way to Tokyo to arrange for the liquidation of two front companies and transfer dlrs 18 million to three bank accounts in Japan.

This week, Ugaz asked Calderon’s office to coordinate with Singaporean and Japanese authorities to investigate, he said.

Fujimori has denied he received any money from the alleged transfers. A Peruvian of Japanese descent, he announced his resignation from Tokyo after attending a summit meeting in Brunei, and said he plans to stay in Japan indefinitely.