Alberto Fujimori, the former Peruvian president living in self-imposed exile in Japan, issued a statement Tuesday denying the legitimacy of an international warrant issued for his arrest.

Officials in Lima said Interpol issued the arrest warrant for Fujimori over the weekend, charging him with murder, forced disappearances and causing bodily harm.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Fujimori called the warrant “political manipulation of the regular channels of Interpol.”

He said it is an attempt by the government in Peru to use the Paris-based organization to give credibility to its efforts to prosecute him.

Interpol had suspended an earlier warrant for Fujimori on Feb. 27 after asking Peruvian officials to provide evidence tying him to a paramilitary death squad and to demonstrate the charges were not politically motivated.

On Saturday, Peruvian Justice Minister Fausto Alvarado said the warrant had been reissued.

Fujimori said Interpol’s notice did not mean it backed Lima’s allegations, but that it was simply transmitting a request from the Peruvian government.

“The fact is that there is nothing new to what there already was before,” he said. “That is to say, it is the dissemination of an arrest warrant issued by the Peruvian government.”

The former president fled to his parents’ native Japan in November 2000, when a corruption scandal surrounding his former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos ended his 10-year rule.

Fujimori has denied any wrongdoing.

“I don’t know of the crimes that they accuse me of nor have I ever backed the activation of any paramilitary group,” he said in the statement.

On Monday, Tokyo said it had not yet received notice of the warrant but might consider action if it does.

So far, Japan has refused to send Fujimori back to Peru, arguing that he is a Japanese citizen and protected from extradition.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.