• The Associated Press

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Peru’s ambassador to Japan expressed hope Saturday that Japan will extradite disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori to face murder and embezzlement charges.

Fujimori, meanwhile, said Lima’s requests for custody show he is a victim of “political persecution.”

Fujimori has been in self-exile in Japan since fleeing his homeland in November 2000 as his government crumbled amid a corruption scandal. Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants, has been shielded from extradition by Japanese citizenship granted to him after his arrival.

Tokyo repeatedly has said Japanese citizens can’t be extradited to Peru.

On Friday, Macchiavello filed Peru’s second request for Fujimori’s extradition, alleging the former president embezzled $15 million in state funds when he was in office. Lima filed its first extradition request last year, asking that Fujimori be handed over to face murder charges for the death squad slayings of suspected rebels.

Macchiavello also submitted a document to the Foreign Ministry answering questions Tokyo asked in August about the initial request.

“Peru, by submitting the document containing the required answers, has complied with all the requirements demanded by Japan,” Macchiavello said at a news conference. He added he is confident “the extradition of Mr. Fujimori will be granted.”

Fujimori, meanwhile, dismissed Lima’s answers, saying they underscore “the lack of reasonable evidence” and don’t “respond to the questions presented by the Japanese government.”

Fujimori has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to run in elections in Peru despite a ruling by Congress banning him from public office until 2010.

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