Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Fujimori’s wife blasts Lima ruling as ‘witch trial’

The Japanese wife of Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori accused a Lima court on Wednesday of conducting a medieval-style ”witch trial” after it sentenced him to 25 years behind bars.

The special court in Lima on Tuesday convicted Fujimori of ”crimes against humanity” in connection with the murderous activities of an army death squad during his 1990-2000 rule.

Fujimori’s wife, Satomi Kataoka, said there was no evidence to support the ruling.

”This is just like a witch trial in medieval times,” said the 42-year-old, who married Fujimori in 2006. ”How could this happen? I’m totally shocked and boiling with anger.”

Kataoka, who runs a hotel in Tokyo, praised her husband, who is of Japanese descent.

”He never spoke ill of other people during the trial,” she added, speaking by telephone. ”He is a silent, decent man — a samurai with the Japanese DNA.”

Fujimori maintained his innocence throughout his 15-month trial.

He claimed that he was kept unaware of the actions of the death squad when it carried out the main crimes examined by the court: the murders of 15 people in 1991, and the abduction and murders of nine university students and their professor in the capital the following year.

But the court found he authorised and protected the army unit, known as La Colina.

Fujimori fled to Tokyo in 2000 and sent a fax from a hotel announcing his resignation as president. Japan considered him as a national by descent, and refused to extradite him.

However, in 2005 he travelled to Chile intending to restart his political career in Peru. He was arrested on arrival and extradited to Peru in 2007.

While he was under house arrest in Chile, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Japan’s upper house of Parliament with the support of a tiny conservative party, describing himself as ”The Last Samurai” representing Japanese values. — Sapa-AFP

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’

Khaya Koko: The looting isn’t over until the fat belly...

A song about Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane preventing looting was way off the mark in a province riddled with corruption and theft

Eskom will try to avoid blackouts during local government elections

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the ailing state power utility’s staff would be on standby as South Africans cast their votes on 1 November

‘Terribly scary’: Dysfunctional municipalities are a threat to South Africa’s...

The country’s local governments are a drag on investment, a strain on the fiscus and pose a critical sovereign risk

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…