Fujimori Faces Sanctions for Radio Interview

Jailed former President Alberto Fujimori is facing sanctions for offering a radio interview from within his prison cell, which is prohibited under Peruvian law.

Fujimori gave an almost 20-minute long interview to RPP radio on Thursday. Fujimori discussed a wide range of issues during the interview, including his failed attempt to get a presidential pardon, his support for a loyal lawmaker who has been criticized for her appointment to a human rights commission, his future role in politics and his denial of guilt in human rights crimes.

The 75-year-old former president is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations and corruption committed during his decade long government in the 1990s. President Ollanta Humala denied his request for a humanitarian pardon earlier this year after a medical committee found that Fujimori was not suffering from a terminal illness. In his decision, Humala also cited the lack of remorse on the part of Fujimori for the crimes he committed.

Fujimori was found guilty of crimes against humanity in the cases of the murder and disappearance of nine students and a professor from the university at La Cantuta, in Chosica, and the gunning down of a child and several adults at a Sunday fund-raising lunch in the low-income Barrios Altos area of downtown Lima. The trial, held shortly after he was extradited from Chile, was applauded internationally as an example of impeccable procedural law.

In reference to the killings, Fujimori told RPP that “I feel completely innocent and with a clean conscious.”

“In the cases of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta there isn’t any proof, there aren’t any witnesses that say I had direct or indirect responsibility,” Fujimori said.

Last month, Fujimori began a new trial over allegation that he took money from the Armed Forces funds to bribe tabloid newspapers in the run up to his 2000 reelection. He is pleading not guilty. Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, is seen as a favorite in the 2016 presidential elections. She narrowly lost to President Humala in the 2011 election.

The head of Peru’s prison system, Jose Luis Perez, said in a press conference Friday that authorities are studying what sanction to apply to Fujimori. Perez said that Fujimori’s son, Kenji, and another congressman loyal to the former president blocked prison workers from halting the interview.

“I’m surprised by the Fujimori’s attitude. It seems that he’s challenging the prison system,” said Perez. He added that authorities would cut access to Fujimori’s telephone line.

Fujimori, called the “most expensive prisoner in Peru” by Perez, has been using a prison telephone to call supporters outside of prison with messages that they then post on social media. His postings on Twitter, which began in September, have been used to attack President Humala.

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