PERU: TRIAL OF VLADIMIRO MONTESINOS BEGINS IN LIMA.The first two public trials of Vladimiro Montesinos Vladimiro Lenin Montesinos Torres (born May 20, 1945) was the long-standing head of Peru's intelligence service, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN), under President Alberto Fujimori. , the shadowy and powerful figure behind Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori Alberto Ken'ya Fujimori (Spanish IPA: [alˈbeɾto ˈkenja ˌfuxiˈmoɾi], Japanese IPA: (1990-2000), began on Feb. 18. They are, however, only the beginning of the legal actions against the former intelligence chief. More than 60 charges are pending, ranging from bribery and illicit enrichment to drug trafficking and murder. Also on trial is the Peruvian justice system, with the proceedings against Montesinos testing whether the courts have really become independent.
In the first trial, Montesinos is charged with helping his former girlfriend's brother get out of prison. He is accused of obtaining a pardon for Americo Perez Ortega, brother of his lover Jacqueline Beltran. Perez Ortega had been convicted of drug trafficking. Beltran is also being tried, as is her uncle Antonio Vera Antonio Vera Moreno aka Antonio Vera (born 11 October 1986 in Sevilla, Andalusia) is a Spanish football player who currently plays for Sevilla B of the Spanish Segunda División B. His usual demarcation is midfielder. who allegedly received a favorable court judgment in a dispute with a bank.
The second trial involves funneling US$25,000 in state funds to the 1998 election campaign of Luis Bedoya, the former mayor of Lima's Miraflores district Miraflores is a district of the Lima Province in Peru. Known for its shopping areas, gardens, flower-filled parks and beaches, it is one of the upscale districts that make up the city of Lima. .
Montesinos, a lawyer, delayed the start of his trials for nearly five months with legal challenges. "Montesinos is the champion of paperwork, presenting mountains of petitions to delay his day in court," said assistant special prosecutor special prosecutor: see independent counsel. Ronald Gamarra. "This is his right, like any Peruvian, but the judges should have acted must faster on the petitions."
Montesinos is still appealing both cases, arguing that they are unnecessary because the maximum sentences are less than a sentence he received in July when he was found guilty of abuse of authority during his 10 years as security advisor and sentenced to nine years and four months in prison. He was also fined US$2.9 million (see NotiSur, 2002-07-05).
In previous statements, Montesinos has insisted that everything he did was on Fujimori's orders. He has admitted some lesser crimes, like abuse of authority, but denies more serious charges like drug running and ordering massacres.
"Vladivideos" bring down Fujimori, Montesinos
In September 2000, a TV station aired a video showing Montesinos bribing congressional Deputy Alberto Kouri Bumacher. With that, the authoritarian government headed by Fujimori began its downward spiral (see NotiSur, 2000-09-02). In November, Fujimori went on a trip to Japan and faxed back his resignation (see NotiSur, 2000-10-06). The former president is still in Japan, his dual citizenship so far successfully blocking efforts to extradite ex·tra·dite
v. ex·tra·dit·ed, ex·tra·dit·ing, ex·tra·dites
1. To give up or deliver (a fugitive, for example) to the legal jurisdiction of another government or authority.
Montesinos had fled the country in October 2000 and was captured in Venezuela in June 2001. Since his return to Peru, he has been held in a maximum security prison at the Callao Naval Base A naval base primarily for support of the forces afloat, contiguous to a port or anchorage, consisting of activities or facilities for which the Navy has operating responsibilities, together with interior lines of communications and the minimum surrounding area necessary for local .
On Feb. 12, the Sala Penal Especial es·pe·cial
1. Of special importance or significance; exceptional: an occasion of especial joy.
2. de la Corte Suprema sentenced Kouri to six years in prison for corruption. The court found that Kouri had accepted US$15,000 from Montesinos to switch his party affiliation to Fujimori's Peru 2000 party. The court also ruled that Kouri must pay US$143,000 in civil compensation. Gamarra said he disagreed with the sentence, which did not reflect the seriousness of the crime.
Kouri could be paroled after four years for good behavior Orderly and lawful action; conduct that is deemed proper for a peaceful and law-abiding individual.
The definition of good behavior depends upon how the phrase is used. . In corruption cases, the prisoner must serve two- thirds of the sentence before being eligible for parole. Kouri has been in jail for two years, so he could be up for parole in February 2005.
Far-reaching corruption network
The more than 2,000 videos that Montesinos secretly taped have led to the arrest of judges, generals, politicians, and media owners. The corruption network involved more than 1,500 people, including Montesinos' wife, daughter, and a television talk-show star. Former attorney general Blanca Nelida Colan was recently sentenced for links to the corruption network.
Many believe that Montesinos still has significant influence over a judicial system he reputedly re·put·ed
Generally supposed to be such. See Synonyms at supposed.
Adv. 1. controlled with intimidation and bribes during the Fujimori regime. Some analysts say judges may fear that Montesinos has access to videotapes incriminating in·crim·i·nate
tr.v. in·crim·i·nat·ed, in·crim·i·nat·ing, in·crim·i·nates
1. To accuse of a crime or other wrongful act.
2. them. They say judges may also fear reprisals REPRISALS, war. The forcibly taking a thing by one nation which belonged to another, in return or satisfaction for a injury committed by the latter on the former. Vatt. B., 2, ch. 18, s. 342; 1 Bl. Com. ch. 7.
2. if Montesinos gets out of prison. "The judges are afraid of trying Montesinos," said Gamarra.
Most of the charges against Montesinos carry 8- to 10- year sentences. He is expected to be convicted in many of the cases because the Vladivideos document the corruption. In Peru, prison terms are served concurrently, with time off for good behavior, so Montesinos could be eligible for parole in a few years on the corruption charges.
The anti-corruption courts are still investigating allegations that involve Montesinos in drug trafficking and in a military death squad. These cases, which would carry 25- year sentences, are not expected to begin for several months.
Gamarra said his team has been unsuccessful in trying to persuade the judiciary to consolidate the corruption cases against Montesinos to make them more manageable for the overburdened system. "I wouldn't say that all of the judges are pro-Montesinos, but, by moving slow and handling too many cases, they are doing exactly what he wants," Gamarra said.
Many Peruvians share Gamarra's view. Giovanna Penaflor, director of the Imasen polling firm, said most Peruvians expect Montesinos to continue to foil the judiciary.
Montesinos refuses to testify
Montesinos refused to answer any questions during the initial court proceedings, saying through his lawyer that the court was not impartial. The trial is being held in the San Pedro prison San Pedro prison is the largest prison in La Paz, Bolivia renowned for being a society within itself. Significantly different from most correctional facilities, inmates at San Pedro have jobs inside the community, pay or rent their accommodation, and often live with their families. in the Lurigancho district on the eastern outskirts of Lima.
When Jacqueline Beltran was called to testify, she angrily denied she had ever asked Montesinos to help her brother. "Let him be a man and tell me I am lying," said Beltran. "As authorities, you should make that man talk."
Beltran has been in jail since mid-2001, accused of illicit enrichment. Her mother, America Ortega, said she was "confident that my daughter will be exonerated when the truth is known."
During the first session of the second trial, Montesinos stood next to Bedoya, to whom he allegedly gave US$25,000 in an illegal campaign donation on orders of Fujimori.
"This is for your campaign, courtesy of [Fujimori]," Montesinos said in a 1999 meeting with Bedoya, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a transcript of a secretly taped video read by the court.
Bedoya admits taking the money, but says he thought it was just a campaign contribution and did not know the cash had been taken from state coffers. He won the Miraflores mayoral race in 1999 in a special election after the regular election won by Fujimori's opposition was annulled for alleged irregularities. He was arrested in February 2001 on the embezzlement embezzlement, wrongful use, for one's own selfish ends, of the property of another when that property has been legally entrusted to one. Such an act was not larceny at common law because larceny was committed only when property was acquired by a "felonious taking," i. charges, but was released last year.
The proceedings against Montesinos, which could last two years, could expose US officials to charges of complicity in Montesinos' criminal activities. While the US was praising Peru for its role in the drug war, Montesinos, at one time a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.
(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy). ) asset, was taking money from drug mafias and even allegedly selling guns to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC Noun 1. FARC - a powerful and wealthy terrorist organization formed in 1957 as the guerilla arm of the Colombian communist party; opposed to the United States; has strong ties to drug dealers ) rebels.
In this enormously complex case, critics say the government has not provided enough funding to do the job. A more important issue, however, is how much influence Montesinos will have with the judges and prosecutors involved in his trial. [Sources: El Nuevo Herald El Nuevo Herald is a McClatchy newspaper published daily in Spanish in Miami, Florida, in the United States. The Herald's sister paper is The Miami Herald, also produced by the McClatchy Company. (Miami), 02/05/03; Notimex, 01/21/03, 02/02/03, 02/12/03; Spanish news service EFE EfE Environment for Europe (EU)
EFE Einstein Field Equations (general relativity)
EFE Early Fuel Evaporation (Automotive Emission Control)
EFE Endocardial Fibroelastosis , 02/18/03; The Miami Herald, 02/18/03, 02/19/03; Reuters, 02/19/03, 02/21/03; The Financial Times (London), 03/03/03; Associated Press, 02/13/03, 02/18/03, 03/04/03; El Comercio (Peru), NorthJersey.com, 03/04/03]