No pardon for imprisoned former president in Peru

Story highlights

  • Family members argued Alberto Fujimori should be released for medical reasons
  • They filed a request for a humanitarian pardon
  • Country's current president turned them down

Imprisoned former Peruvian leader Alberto Fujimori won't receive a pardon because the nation's president determined that he does not have a terminal illness, officials said Friday.

President Ollanta Humala made the decision for that reason and the fact that one of the charges Fujimori, 74, was convicted of cannot be pardoned, the country's justice minister announced.

In October, family members requested a humanitarian pardon for Fujimori, saying he should be released from prison because of health problems. He is serving four concurrent sentences, the longest of which is 25 years, for corruption and human rights abuses.

Fujimori underwent surgery September 19 for a recurring lesion in his tongue and returned to the clinic nine days later because of problems with scarring of the wound, the state-run Andina news agency reported at the time.

2011: Longtime Peruvian fugitive turns himself in

Family members say the ex-president, who has suffered from mouth cancer, will die if he remains a prisoner. Human rights activists have said that granting a pardon to the former strongman would be an insult to victims of his regime, Andina reported.

2009: Ex-Peruvian president sentenced for giving spy chief $15 million

Fujimori is a polarizing figure in Peru, the country he led from 1990 to 2000. His strong hand is credited with defeating the Shining Path terrorists who destabilized the country, and his austere economic policies reined in hyperinflation.

But stability had a cost, which in his case was an authoritarian streak that included the killing of civilians. After winning a third term whose constitutionality was challenged, he was finally brought down by an Andean-sized corruption scandal.

In 2009, a special supreme court tribunal sentenced the former president to 25 years in prison for authorizing the operation of a death squad responsible for killing civilians.

In separate trials, Fujimori was found guilty of breaking into the home of a former spy chief to steal incriminating videos, taking money from the government treasury to pay the spy chief, authorizing illegal wiretaps and bribing congressmen and journalists.

2009: Former Peruvian president sentenced to fourth prison term