Fujimori defense lawyer files appeal to two-year Bar Association suspension

Former President Alberto Fujimori’s lawyer, César Nakazaki, said Thursday that he has filed a 20-page appeal to the Lima Bar Association in response to its Ethics Commission resolution that he be suspended from practicing law for two years for misconduct.

Nakazaki, one of Peru’s top criminal defense attorneys, allegedly violated the Peruvian code of legal ethics by getting his hands on a copy of Fujimori’s court case file through irregular means in 2005 before officially taking him on as a client.

Fujimori is on trial for crimes against humanity for allegedly sanctioning a paramilitary death squad, and faces a half dozen other charges for corruption and misconduct during his 10-year presidency, which ended in disgrace in November 2000, when he fled the country.

Nakazaki said his appeal is “based on the fact that the Ethics Commission of the Lima Bar Association determined, without proof, that there had been an irregular access to the former president’s files,” Nakazaki told state news agency Andina. “Fujimori’s files were studied after we accepted the case. To examine all the files took me more than 100 days and only after that could I begin carry out the first action in his defense.”

The lawyer also argued that the alleged breach had already been investigated by Peru’s Judicial Oversight Board which determined in its final report that “no government employee unjustifiably handed over the documents to Nakazaki or any member of his law firm.”

Last week, Congressman Rolando Sousa, a member of Fujimori’s opposition party, said the two-year suspension was unwarranted and was nothing less than “a low blow by a caviar system that has gone to the Bar Association to try to win a judgment in an anomalous manner.”

Sousa is also Nakazaki’s law partner, and Fujimori’s former attorney.

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