Peru’s ex-spy chief fingers Fujimori for 2000 election fraud

Peru’s former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos says he was just following orders he orchestrated jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori’s fraud-riddled third term election victory in 2000.

Montesinos on Wednesday testified that Fujimori told him to shelve an investigation of allegations that election officials oversaw the systematic forgery of more than 1 million signatures to register his candidacy.

“He called me to his office in the National Intelligence Service for a briefing,” Montesinos said during questioning by the prosecution. “He opened a file and took out an affidavit and said ‘This is the affidavit that the Interior Minister delivered to me. Keep it as a precedent and shelve it here.'”

For 10 years, Montesinos was Fujimori’s shadowy, behind-the-scenes power broker. They forged a government widely viewed as a democratically elected dictatorship that resorted to surveillance, intimidation and wholesale bribery to retain its hold on power.

Montesinos, who has already been convicted on a bevy of corruption charges since his arrest in 2001, was testifying in his own defense. Prosecutor’s are seeking a 13-year sentence on charges he orchestrated the forgery scheme with pliant election officials to help deliver Fujimori a constitutionally questionable third five-year term.

“I took orders from the president. He was the chief of the national defense system and also head of the
National Intelligence Service,” Montesinos told the court tribunal.

Peruvian media speculated that Montesinos was sending Fujimori a message about what his testimony will be in Fujimori’s upcoming trial on charges he sanctioned the Colina Group paramilitary death squad.

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