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Peru's Constitutional Court ruling clears path to Fujimori's release

Friday, March 18th 2022 - 09:53 UTC
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The TC was literally split about releasing Fujimori The TC was literally split about releasing Fujimori

Peru's Constitutional Court Thursday upheld a Presidential pardon granted in 2017 by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) to Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity.

Following this decision, the former head of state, who has been discharged from hospital earlier this week and returned to a detention facility, is to be freed shortly, it was announced.

The Constitutional Court (TC) accepted a habeas corpus requesting the nullity of a court ruling that suspended the 2017 pardon, Carlos Rivera, lawyer for the victims of the Barrios Altos (1991) and La Cantuta (1992) massacres, told reporters.

“Unfortunately, we can confirm this information. Fujimori's release implies that at least two Supreme Court rulings referring to the pardon will have been annulled,” Rivera was quoted by EFE as saying.

The TC found the appeal filed by lawyer Gregorio Parco Alarcón against the Supreme Court's resolution, which in 2018 disavowed the Dec. 24, 2017 pardon.

TC magistrate Eloy Espinosa said in a TV interview that the TC was split on its decision with three justices for and three others against the habeas corpus. But Chief Justice Augusto Ferrero, exercised his right to a “double vote” to break the tie.

According to Espinosa, Ferrero argued that Fujimori “is a person who already has health problems” and there is “a humanitarian situation to attend to,” which is why the 2017 pardon was granted, while those opposing his release insisted the former head of state had all his basic needs taken care of while in detention and that although he did have health problems, “none of them are serious.”

With this decision, Fujimori, 83, will be able to leave the Barbadillo prison in Lima.

Rivera said this new decision was against “the express text of the Judiciary sentence, the Inter-American Court [of Human Rights] and the rights of the victims.” He added that Fujimori's circumstances were “identical to those of 2017” and that “the only thing that has changed is the composition of the TC.”

The pardon is also under probe. Prosecutors suspect it might be the result of negotiations between Kuczynski and Fujimori's youngest son, Kenji, who was a congressman at the time so Fujimorist lawmakers would vote against PPK's impeachment.

Fujimori is still under treatment for pulmonary fibrosis, according to his daughter Keiko.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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