Cablegate: Fujimori Extradition Denied by Chilean Judge
DE RUEHPE #2369 1922135
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 112135Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6119
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 1717
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 4870
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7457
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN PRIORITY 0562
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 2980
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0553
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1340
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1381
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 002369
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/2027
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KJUS PE CI
SUBJECT: FUJIMORI EXTRADITION DENIED BY CHILEAN JUDGE
REF: LIMA 2016
Classified By: A/POL David Brooks, for Reasons 1.4 (c,d)
1. (C) Summary: Chilean judge Orlando Alvarez has denied Peru's request to extradite ex-President Alberto Fujimori on charges of human rights abuses and corruption. The GOP has the right to appeal the decision to the Chilean Supreme Court, and Fujimori will remain under house arrest. Fujimori's supporters in Peru have kept their jubilation over the decision quiet, and the Garcia government now faces the tough task of managing what will likely be an outpouring of public discontent from certain sectors, directed at both Chile and the GOP. End Summary.
2. (C) After more than 18 months of legal reviews, Chilean judge Orlando Alvarez denied on July 11 Peru's extradition request for ex-President Alberto Fujimori. The court considered 122 charges presented by the GOP and rejected each one if appealed, the case would pass to the Chilean Supreme Court for final review. If the Supreme Court upholds Alvarez's ruling, Fujimori will be freed. Fujimori's attorney in Chile, Gabriel Zaliasanik, cautioned that the process is not complete, and urged Fujimori's supporters to show restraint. Although the Garcia government has publicly pursued Fujimori's extradition, political commentators have long speculated that the GOP would prefer if Fujimori remained in Chile (see reftel). The Fujimori bloc in Congress has been a dependable source of support for the Garcia administration.
3. (C) Comment: The GOP is likely to be comfortable, at least privately, with the Chilean decision, which would most likely see Fujimori returning to Japan, a move that would effectively end his political career in Peru. Still, the government will need to manage the expected backlash in some sectors (human rights activists and the Humala movement) against Chile for denying justice to those who suffered under the Fujimori regime and against the GOP for losing the legal case. Ambassador Struble has already been pushed by the media for a comment and has insisted that the dispute is an issue between Chile and Peru. End Comment.