Fujimori's trial for 'diarios chicha' begins
21 October 2013
The fifth trial of former president Alberto Fujimori has begun, this time for alleged misuse of public funds to buy off newspaper editors in the 1990s.
Fujimori is accused of diverting funds from the army budget to pay the editors of cheap scandal sheet tabloids (‘prensa chicha’) to provide supportive coverage of his presidency and to discredit his opponents. According to prosecutors, Fujimori siphoned off around US $44 million from public funds to pay editors in the hope of influencing the outcome of 2000 elections. Evidence of Fujimori’s spy-chief, Vladimiro Montesinsos, bribing media executives – among others – was instrumental to the president’s downfall.
The latest trial was temporarily suspended due to Fujimori’s ill health but he has now been discharged from hospital. Fujimori is currently serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption while in office.
Fujimori has provoked further controversy in recent weeks through making public statements on Twitter, in which he has defended his record and attacked President Humala. Messages given to supporters by phone have been tweeted, prompting calls for action to deprive him of this platform.