Peru court annuls pardon of ex-president Fujimori, orders arrest

Lima,   Peru’s Supreme Court has overturned the humanitarian pardon of former President Alberto Fujimori, and ordered the former head of state be arrested and sent to prison to serve the rest of his sentence for human rights abuses.

Judge Hugo Nunez Julca, president of the Supreme Investigation Court of the Supreme Court, declared on Wednesday that the pardon, granted in December 2017 by former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, was unlawful, Xinhua reported.

The pardon was heavily criticised by opposition and human rights groups, who claimed it was Kuczynski’s attempt to avoid impeachment by allies of the former president.

Kuczynski resigned in March following the release of a video showing his allies trying to buy votes from opposition lawmakers ahead of a second impeachment vote in the corruption scandal.

Judge Julca ordered Fujimori, 80, be captured and returned to prison to see out the remaining 14 years of his 25 year sentence, the Supreme Court said.

Fujimori, in power from 1990 to 2000, was sentenced in April 2009 for human rights abuses, including being responsible for the killings of 25 people, including an 8-year-old boy, in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta neighborhoods of Lima.

The massacres were carried out by the paramilitary group Colina in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

Fujimori’s lawyer, Miguel Perez, said he would appeal the ruling, and added that the judge’s decision “is not an immediate order.”

Perez stated that he had not yet been able to speak to Fujimori because the former president had just learned of the decision.

Wednesday’s ruling surprised politicians and Peruvians alike.

Despite the country’s government, headed by President Martin Vizcarra, making good headway with anti-corruption reforms, the nation’s Congress is controlled by opposition parties.

The largest opposition party is the Popular Force (FP) party, led by Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, who declared the ruling to be “persecution”.

“Without doubt this is a persecution and not just against my family. Enough. I feel the hate and cruelty from of all our political enemies,” she said.

The Supreme Court’s decision came following a recommendation from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which declared the pardon to be illegal.