Fujimori’s defense lawyer faces possible two-year suspension from practicing law

Ex-President Alberto Fujimori’s mountain of legal problems might have gotten a lot tougher to overcome following a ruling Thursday by the Lima Bar Association’s Ethics Commission ordering a two-year suspension of his defense lawyer, Cesar Nakazaki, from practicing law.

Congressman Rolando Sousa, a leading member of Fujimori’s opposition party bloc and also Nakazaki’s law partner, broke the news to reporters, saying the suspension was an underhanded trick by state prosecutors.

“Unfortunately, the Ethics Commission of the Bar Association, without motive or reason, has emitted a resolution suspending Nakazaki for two years from practicing the profession of law,” Sousa said. “What this is about is depriving Alberto Fujimori from exercising his right to a defense. This is not a strike against Nakazaki. This is a low blow by a caviar system that has gone to the Bar Association to try to win a judgment in an anomalous manner.”

Nakazaki allegedly breached the Peruvian code of legal ethics by obtaining a copy of Fujimori’s court case file through irregular means before officially taking Fujimori on as a client.

Sousa said Nakazaki revealed to reporters in 2005 that he had sneaked a peak at the files to evaluate whether he would take Fujimori’s case, defending him against Peru’s attempts to extradite him from Japan, where he fled five years earlier as his 10-year authoritarian regime crumbled under the weight ballooning corruption scandals.

Sousa added that the alleged breach had been investigated by Peru’s Judicial Oversight Board, which found no wrongdoing.

The ethics commission president, Luis Lamas Puccio, one of Peru’s leading constitutional experts, confirmed that the resolution had been issued against Nakazaki, telling Radioprograms that the decision was made in a 3-1 vote, in which he cast the lone dissenting opinion opposing the suspension.

He said the Judicial Oversight Board had referred the case to the Lima Bar Association’s Ethics Commission to make a final judgment.

Lamas declined to comment further, saying only that Nakazaki will be able to appeal the suspension and that it was unlikely he will be forced to immediately abandon the defense table in Fujimori’s trial for allegedly sanctioning a paramilitary death squad.

The Peruvian Supreme Court ordered a two-day suspension of that trial on Wednesday after the 69-year-old Fujimori suffered a sudden spike of hypertension, prompting Peru’s forensic examiner, Dr. Luis Bromley, to recommend a break in testimony until Friday.

Fujimori’s malaise occurred as Antonio Ketin Vidal, ex-chief of Peru’s National Police unit against Terrorism, or DINCOTE told the Court that Fujimori ordered him in 1995 to speak out in defense of his shadowy spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, after a high-profile cocaine trafficker testified that he paid Montesinos $50,000 a month as part of a giant protection racket.

Vidal, considered a hero in Peru since 1992 when his police unit captured Shining Path guerrilla leader Abimael Guzman, testified that he refused Fujimori’s order to vouch for Montesinos.

Although allegedly ill since Tuesday night, Fujimori claimed he did not alert the penitentiary officials or the National Forensic Institute doctors because he had lost faith in them since last week, when they minimized the gravity of a possibly cancerous leukoplakia lesion in his mouth.

“I didn’t mention anything to the doctors from the National Institute of Forensic Medicine because of the political rather than medical treatment they have been giving me: a doctor tells me that the lesion I have just barely measures two millimeters and that there is no problem, while my family doctor tells me that even a microscopic leukoplakia is a possible health risk,” Fujimori told the Court on Wednesday.

Fujimori’s brother, Congressman Santiago Fujimori, and his family doctor, Alejandro Aguinaga, asked Interior Minister Luis Alva Castro to replace the forensic examiner.

“Doctor Bromley has taken upon himself the authority of an oncologist… his diagnostic is totally erroneous,” said Santiago Fujimori. “I believe that Doctor Bromley has committed a grave error and that he should be replaced.”

But, Bromley contended his approach is purely scientific and that no medical errors were made.

“The National Institute of Forensic Medicine responds to a judicial mandate. The issue is scientific, it can be verified by other Peruvian doctors or foreign doctors and they will all agree. Medicine is an exact science,” Bromley argued.

“Fujimori’s medical examination was carried out by a group of medical experts including doctors from the National Institute of Forensic Medicine, Peru’s National Neoplasia Institute and Fujimori’s family doctor,” he added.

Critics say Fujimori’s “diseases” are being used as a ploy to set his trial off-track. As Peruvian Times reported last week, Peruvian law provides for a maximum of eight working days of suspension if the defendant requires medical attention or treatment. Exceeding this limit would force the judge to call for a mistrial.

The trial is to resume Friday, as Fujimori’s precancerous mouth lesion continues to be monitored. Further examinations scheduled for June 5 are to determine whether surgery will be required.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.