Peru's Ex-Spy Chief Says Fujimori Ordered Bribes Paid to Lawmakers

Jailed former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos has told an anti-corruption judge that he followed direct orders from former President Alberto Fujimori when he allegedly bribed at least 10 lawmakers, Congress said Saturday.

Congress released a sworn statement Montesinos made to anti-corruption Judge Saul Pena Farfan, in which Montesinos said he doled out tens of thousands of dollars, "following orders from President Fujimori to obtain a congressional majority."

"All of the payments were authorized, supervised and controlled by President Fujimori," said Montesinos, who also described separate gifts, favors and payoffs to lawmakers, judges and election officials already loyal to Fujimori.

Montesinos, 56, has been cooperating with investigators since his arrest last month in Venezuela after eight months on the run. He faces charges ranging from influence peddling to narcotics trafficking and homicide.

Pena Farfan told radio station CPN on Saturday that Montesinos had implicated 100 additional people. He declined to elaborate on Montesinos' statement, made July 13 in the maximum-security naval prison where he is being held, saying only that the allegations were being looked into.

Fujimori, 62, who denies any criminal wrongdoing, claimed a third term in office last year in an election described as fraudulent by international observers.

However, his supporters took only 52 congressional seats — nine short of the 61 needed to maintain control of the 120-member unicameral chamber.

But Fujimori regained the majority days before his inauguration after a suspicious flood of last-minute defections from opposition ranks.

Then in September, a leaked video showed Montesinos apparently handing a newly elected opposition lawmaker a $15,000 bribe. The ensuing scandal ended Fujimori's 10-year autocratic rule.

Fujimori, who faces charges of dereliction of duty and abandonment of office, fled to Japan, his parents' homeland.

Peruvian authorities are investigating him for possible corruption and links to a paramilitary death squad allegedly directed by Montesinos.