Fujimori's Ex-Wife Says He Ordered Her Killed

Peru's former spy chief told the ex-wife of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori that the autocratic leader ordered that she be killed, her spokesman said Saturday.

Alberto Bautista, lawyer and adviser to Congresswoman Susana Higuchi, said they visited Vladimiro Montesinos at his request Friday at the naval prison where he is being held on dozens of charges ranging from narcotics trafficking to directing a paramilitary death squad.

"Montesinos asked Susana forgiveness for all the harm he has done her," Bautista told The Associated Press. He said Montesinos told Higuchi that Fujimori, "ordered her eliminated, but to make it look like an accident."

But he added that Montesinos claimed to be, "very Catholic and that he would not permit an order to murder."

"He admits that he committed crimes and that he has to be tried and judged, but that he never killed and never trafficked in narcotics," Bautista said. "He said everything he did was on the direct orders of Alberto Fujimori."

Higuchi has accused Montesinos, who was captured last month in Venezuela, of driving a wedge between her family, holding her captive and ordering his agents to torture her.

Bautista also said that Montesinos provided information about where Fujimori allegedly holds secret bank accounts, but declined to elaborate.

Fujimori has denied his ex-wife's allegation that he deposited some $12.5 million from Japanese donors meant for Peruvian children into a personal bank account.

Fujimori stripped Higuchi of the title of first lady in 1994 after she accused him of tolerating widespread corruption in his administration. He said she was disloyal, as well as "unstable and easily influenced" by his political rivals. Their divorce was finalized in 1996.

Higuchi was elected to Congress last year on the opposition ticket of the Independent Moralizing Front party.

Montesinos was known for years as Fujimori's "Rasputin" for the influence he wielded over the dictatorial leader, isolating Fujimori from key aides and family members. Montesinos was undone by a leaked video last year showing him bribing an opposition congressman.

Days before he left Peru, Higuchi claimed she had been tortured on numerous occasions by order of the president and his former intelligence adviser. The allegations were never substantiated.