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Fujimori's pardon reversed, due back in jail goes to hospital instead

Thursday, October 4th 2018 - 12:14 UTC
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The 80-year-old Fujimori, of Japanese descent, was president of Peru between 1990 and 2000. The 80-year-old Fujimori, of Japanese descent, was president of Peru between 1990 and 2000.

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's pardon was reversed by a court of law Wednesday, ruling that he must go back to prison. Instead, he was admitted into a hospital on health grounds.

 Following his arrest Wednesday, he was admitted into a clinic for tests after a drop in blood pressure and an accelerated heart beat, accirdibg to medical sources. Fujimori has been battling tongue cancer, having undergone a number of operations. His most recent hospitalization was in August, for an irregular heartbeat.

The pardon, granted on December 24 by the then President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, allowed Fujimori to recover his freedom after just over 12 years in prison. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the case of La Cantuta and Barrios Altos.

But relatives of the victims of those cases appealed before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, whuch eventually led to Wednesday's resolution by a national court.

The 80-year-old Fujimori, of Japanese descent, was president of Peru between 1990 and 2000.

The Justice Departament Wednesday said in a statement that the Judiciary had left the pardon without effect and that the Supreme Court had “issued the arrest and detention orders against former president Fujimori so that he may be re-integrated into the prison establishment.”

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's pardon is believed to have been a move to avoid impeachment, before he was himself brought down by a corruption scandal, which triggered a wave of protests by human rights organizations and by victims of Fujimori's crackdown.

“This decision is inhuman, it's unjust,” said his daughter Keiko, leader of the main opposition Popular Force party and seen by many as the heir to Fujimori's political dynasty.

“Today is the saddest day of our lives, it's painful,” a tearful Keiko told reporters, adding that she had yet to speak to her father since the court decision.

One of Fujimori's lawyers, Miguel Perez, said on Chile's RPP radio the decision was subject to appeal.

Victims of Fujimori's crackdown had petitioned the Inter-American Court to demand a judicial review of the process that led to the pardon.

Carlos Rivera, a lawyer for the victims, said the decision to annul the pardon was justified.

“Kuczynski's pardon to Alberto Fujimori has no legal value and therefore he has to return to prison for irregularities in the process,” he said.

Kuczynski had justified the pardon on humanitarian grounds, given Fujimori's well-documented ill-health. But the scandal-tainted president had only days earlier survived an impeachment vote thanks to the abstention of a group of lawmakers led by Fujimori's son Kenji.

This lead critics to say the pardon was obviously a quid-pro-quo, the price Kuczynski paid for what proved to be a temporary political survival.

“International standards in the humanitarian pardon were not met,” Rivera said.

He has been working on a memoir about his decade in power (1990-2000), a period marked by corruption but also by a fight against guerrillas and terrorism.

However, Fujimori has been unable to reconcile his daughter Keiko, 43, with her younger brother Kenji, who leads a rival faction of her party, to end a political schism which could see the two face off in the 2021 presidential elections.

The charge of crimes against humanity stemmed in part from the killings or disappearances of scores of civilians -- allegedly by a shadowy squad of military officers -- during Peru's bloody struggle against Maoist rebels.

Fujimorists admire him for dragging the country's economy into the modern era and defeating the Shining Path guerrilla movement.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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