Thursday, October 21, 2021

Peru’s Fujimori pleads not to be returned to prison

Lima, Oct 4 (EFE).- The Peruvian government on Thursday activated police procedures to arrest and return to prison disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, who – from a Lima hospital – asked authorities “not to kill me” by putting him behind bars again after a judge annulled the pardon granted to him in December.

A gaunt Fujimori posted a video on his Twitter account in which, in a halting voice, he says that if he returns to prison his heart “isn’t going to take it.”

“I want to ask the president … and the members of the judiciary for just one thing: please, don’t kill me. If I return to prison my heart isn’t going to take it, it’s too weak to go through the same thing again,” the 80-year-olf Fujimori said from his hospital bed.

He posted the video after police were stationed outside his room at the hospital, where he was admitted Wednesday shortly after the announcement that his pardon had been overturned, while riot cops are watching the outside of the facility.

Interior Minister Mauro Medina said that police are waiting for Fujimori to be released from the clinic to carry out the arrest warrant issued by Supreme Court Judge Hugo Nuñez Julca.

Nuñez annulled Fujimori’s pardon due to irregularities in granting it and because it contravenes international commitments made by Peru regarding human rights.

However, former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Thursday that he does not regret pardoning Fujimori and insisted that his action was constitutional.

Prior to the Dec. 24, 2017, pardon, Fujimori was serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity during his 1990-2000 administration.

The pardon came just three days after Kuczynski – who has since resigned amid corruption allegations – avoided impeachment thanks to the votes of 10 opposition lawmakers led by Kenji Fujimori, Alberto’s son, and just two weeks after receiving the recommendation of a medical board that included the inmate’s personal physician.

Alberto Fujimori’s government collapsed in the Fall of 2000 amid a burgeoning corruption scandal involving spy chief and top adviser Vladimiro Montesinos.

When the dismissal of Montesinos failed to appease public outrage, Fujimori fled Peru for Japan, from where he faxed his resignation as president.

Tokyo granted Fujimori asylum by virtue of the Japanese citizenship his emigrant parents obtained for him at the time of his birth in Peru. Had Peruvian authorities known of his dual citizenship, he would never have been allowed to run for president.

Although he was safe from extradition in Japan, the president traveled to Chile unexpectedly on Nov. 6, 2005, apparently with hopes of returning to Peru to compete in the 2006 presidential election.

But Chilean authorities promptly arrested him on an Interpol warrant and he was ultimately turned over to Peru.
Fujimori was convicted in 2009 for 25 killings carried out in the early 1990s by the covert military unit Colina.