Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fuji Watch - Day 4

Peru: Conjugal Visits for Fujimori - Fuji will be allowed a guitar and twice monthly conjugal visits as he awaits trial in his two room, 1,075 square foot cell.

As Good As News is outraged. No, it's not the cushy treatment Fuji's getting. He hasn't been convicted of anything yet. Peru relies heavily on house arrest for accused criminals awaiting trial, so Fuji's treatment, while exceptional by prison standards, is nothing compared to the life he would be living at home with the millions he looted.

The pre-trial phase may last until Fuji's death. When faced with a difficult situation in which any action could produce bad results the typical approach in all branches of the Peruvian government, especially the judiciary, is to do nothing - even when doing nothing produces the worst possible outcome for the country. The system is actually designed to encourage bureaucratic paralysis. Government officials, including judges and prosecutors, are subject to possible criminal charges for missteps, while no deadline is ever enforced and there seems to be no systematic cost or penalty for inaction.

As Good As News is no friend of Fuji, but we don't begrudge him a visit, a guitar and a two room cell when he might be serving a life sentence without trial. The fact that the government is preparing a "more permanent facility" should make Fuji afraid, very afraid. The outrage is directed at, who else, the NY Times. The Times could not find Peru on a map when Fuji and Montesinos were looting the country, now it runs a CONJUGAL VISIT caption for a World Briefing item. Sex may sell, but this guy is 69. If you're going that route, NY Times, run a style section feature on Paris Hilton.

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