Peru's ambassador to Japan expressed hope yesterday that Japan will extradite disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori to face murder and embezzlement charges. Fujimori, meanwhile, said Lima's requests for custody showed he was a victim of "political persecution." \nFujimori 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. \nTokyo repeatedly has said Japanese citizens can't be extradited under Japanese law. \nOn Friday, Macchiavello filed Peru's second request for Fujimori's extradition, alleging the former president embezzled US$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. \nMacchiavello also submitted a document to Japan's Foreign Ministry answering questions Tokyo asked in August about the initial request. \n"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 was confident "that the extradition of Mr Fujimori will be granted." \nFujimori, meanwhile, dismissed Lima's answers, saying they underscored "the lack of reasonable evidence" and didn't "respond to the questions presented by the Japanese government." \nFujimori 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. \nThe second extradition request alleges Fujimori embezzled US$15 million by illegally issuing a decree allowing him to withdraw the funds from the Defense Ministry budget to hand over to Vladimiro Montesinos, his imprisoned former spy chief. \nMontesinos is accused of corruption, arranging weapons sales to Colombian rebels, drug trafficking and authorizing death squad killings while working for Fujimori in the 1990s. \nFujimori claimed the Peruvian government made its second request for extradition in an attempt to divert attention from growing public disapproval of President Alejandro Toledo's administration as well as increasing support for Fujimori.
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