Foreign Affairs Minister: Reports of fugitive former TV owner’s arrest in U.S. untrue

Peru’s Foreign Affairs Minister José García Belaunde clarified on Wednesday that former TV owner José Enrique Crousillat has not been arrested in the United States, RPP radio station reported.

José García Belaunde’s comments follow earlier media reports that Crousillat was apprehended in the United States. The media reports from TV Peru had said the former owner of America Television had been arrested by Interpol agents in Washington D.C.

“U.S. authorities have confirmed that [he was not arrested] and they don’t have any records of [Crousillat] entering the United States,” Garcia Belaunde said.

Crousillat has been wanted by Peruvian authorities since last March when President Alan Garcia revoked a pardon granted to him in December.

President García granted the pardon on Dec. 11 for “humanitarian reasons,” on the grounds that Crousillat, 77, suffered from a series of ailments, including heart disease, depression and diabetes, which could put his life at risk.

Crousillat and his son, José Francisco, fled to Argentina in 2001 when video tapes recorded in the National Intelligence Service, SIN, proved the wide corruption network that ex-President Fujimori and his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos had woven to control the media and public opinion. Early in 2006, the Crousillats were extradited to face trial in Lima.

Crousillat was sentenced to eight years in prison and charged a fine of $52 million, convicted of “selling” America Television’s editorial line to the Fujimori government in the 1990s.

His lawyer, Jorge Castro, previously said Crousillat is hiding outside of Peru.

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