Police increase personnel to find and arrest former TV owner

Crousillat and his son, José Francisco caught on hidden video receiving stacks of hundred dollar bills from Vladimiro Montesinos

Peruvian police have assigned special investigators to find and arrest José Enrique Crousillat, who went into hiding Saturday after President Alan García rescinded a pardon he granted to the former TV-mogul, Presidential Cabinet Chief Javier Velásquez said.

“All of our efforts are focused on finding this man and bringing him to justice,” Velásquez told Radio Programas Peru. “We have instructed the police to double their efforts. There are twice as many officers and they are sending people who are specialized in finding and capturing this man.”

The official gazette, El Peruano, published a supreme decree signed by President Alan García that rescinded the pardon Sunday granted to Crousillat, two days after Judge César Vásquez of the Second Anti-Corruption Court issued an arrest warrant for the former owner of America Television. The warrant was issued after a review of the medical records used to support Crousillat’s petition for a pardon revealed irregularities, daily El Comercio reported.

The former TV owner’s lawyer, Jorge Castro, said Crousillat went into hiding after the arrest warrant was issued, state news agency Andina reported.

Crousillat, 77, was pardoned on Dec. 11 for “humanitarian reasons,” on the grounds that he 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.

He 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.

The pardon given to Crousillat was widely criticized. Former anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Maldonado called it the “the largest betrayal in the fight against corruption in recent times.”

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