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Peru's Ex-Spy Chief Leaves Panama

October 23, 2000|Associated Press

PANAMA CITY — Peru's former intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, on Sunday left Panama in a private jet bound for Ecuador, the Panamanian president's office said.

The reason for his departure was not immediately clear. He had arrived Sept. 24 in Panama seeking political asylum. As Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's spy chief and closest advisor, Montesinos was viewed by many as the most powerful man in Peru.

The release of a video in mid-September showing him apparently bribing an opposition politician unleashed a political crisis that triggered his flight to Panama and prompted Fujimori to call elections in which he will not be a candidate.

The Panamanian president's office said Montesinos had entered the country on a tourist visa and could come and go as he pleased.

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