President Garcia criticized for proposed law some say designed to help Fujimori


Criticism is mounting against a proposed law that President Alan Garcia wants to fast-track through Congress to simplify trial procedures — a move some believe could allow jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori to sit out his upcoming trials on corruption and human rights abuse charges.

The executive bill, marked “urgent,” was introduced Nov. 7, and includes one provision in particular that has set off alarm bells:

“The accused cannot leave the proceedings without permission from the Court, however, once the charges have been formulated, such permission may be granted for justifiable reasons, and the defendant can be represented by defense counsel.”

Some legal experts, human rights advocates and opposition lawmakers have interpreted that to mean Fujimori could avoid being present in court and exempted from having to confront his former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos face-to-face.

Garcia denied the suggestion, telling reporters: “There exists the most exaggerated and inept interpretation to say this could benefit Fujimori. Nothing could be further from reality … Let’s stop ‘Fujimori-izing’ the national scene.”

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