Former congressman extradited from U.S. to face charges of forgery and embezzlement

Oscar Medelius, extradited from the United States on Friday, is appearing before the anticorruption court today to face charges of forgery of documents, embezzlement and illicit association that stem from his alleged involvement in a massive election fraud scheme in 2000. The trial, which includes six other defendants, is scheduled to begin before the end of this month.
A notary public and former congressman of President Alberto Fujimori’s party, Medelius, 52, fled to the United States after Fujimori fled to Japan and his government crumbled towards the end of 2000.

An arrest warrant for Medelius was issued in September 2001.
He is accused, with other government officials, of organizing and directing a signature “factory” at his notary office in the district of Callao, to forge signatures and fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of citizens in order to meet the quota of supporters required to register Fujimori’s new Alianza Peru 2000 party for Fujimori’s election to a third presidential term that year. Ivan Sequeiros, president of the Sixth Anticorruption Court, told the Andina news agency that Medelius received money from Vladimiro Montesinos, Fujimori’s intelligence chief and closest advisor, to cover the costs of the scheme.
Medelius fled to the US in 2000 and was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in February 2006 in Wilmington, North Carolina, after being tracked in a fugitive investigation across the East Coast. He challenged a magistrate judge’s order authorizing his extradition and a district court’s order denying his petition for habeas corpus and a stay of extradition pending appeal. However, in a unanimous opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in October 2007 that Medelius could be extradited to face the charges in Peru. Medelius was held in custody until his extradition to Peru this past week.

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